This is a great example of a china sauce or gravy boat from the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. It is the "Capitol - Black & Gold" pattern, with a white china base beautifully setting off crisp, elegant black and gold decoration. It would have been used aboard B&O trains to serve one or two diners.
On one side is a depiction of the U. S. Capitol dome, set off by a B&ORR banner and surrounded by two circles. A Greek Key design in black graces the center of three gold bands near the rim. The gold is all soft, high-karat and exceedingly difficult to find without significant wear. Our gravy boat, however, shows little wear - none at all from use, and only a tiny bit from age. Likely it escaped dining car use and has been a shelf piece but it is absolutely authentic, railroad ordered ware.
Under the bottom is the confirming mark of the Shenango China Company, its maker, and the distributor / supplier Stearnes Company that dealt with Shenango for the railroad. The date code 5-27 means this piece was made in May, 1927.
IMPORTANT note: The Shenango version of Black Capitol was NEVER railroad bottom marked. It only carries the side logo that appears on this dish.
CONDITION is fabulous. This piece is "near mint" at its best, with no signs of use. There are NO cracks, chips, flakes or repairs. Event the tip of the spout is undamaged - NOTE the tiny black spot that shows in our picture near the spout tip is a stray spot of black glaze, not damage! There are no dark or yellowish age spots marring the rim edges. The gold is superb with hardly any deterioration - we would give it 98% out of 100%. There are individual tiny flakes here and there, but NO rubs and no spots of loss.
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