Antique Victorian carpet ball or bowl with three sets of concentric black lines or rings from the 1850 to 1880 period, hence the c1865 mid-date. This is a large ball that has a diameter of about 3 inches and is made of densely compacted and fired ceramic clay that some collectors may call Stone China (aka granite ware), stoneware or opaque porcelain (porcelain is a misnomer since the paste is not translucent). Consequently, these balls were heavy and intentionally designed to withstand hitting each other and furniture without fear of chipping or breaking. The ball offered here is covered with a clear hard glaze and is probably from a pottery in Scotland although Staffordshire, England cannot be ruled out. Potteries that produced these bowls include those in Glasgow, Portobello (Edinburgh), Sunderland (Yorkshire) and Staffordshire to name a few locations.
The indoor game of carpet bowls, also known as Taws was popular in the mid to late 1800s. In Scotland, it was particularly enjoyed during winter months and carpet bowling clubs were common among Border counties where the game was played in the galleries of great country houses as noted by ceramic historian G. Bernard Hughes in his book titled ‘English and Scottish Earthenware 1660-1860' (published by Abbey Fine Arts, London in 1961, see page 207). The game used six pairs of decorative carpet balls and a plain white jack. The decorated balls had concentric bands in underglaze brown, pink, red, blue (light or dark blue), green or less frequently yellow or black. Some of the colorful ring patterns resemble Scottish tartans. Other balls may be stamped with cut sponge designs in floral, Bull’s eye or starry patterns (Hughes ibid.: 207-208, see also Plate 32; see also Pottery and Porcelain by Bernard H. Charles published in 1974 by Hippocrene Books Inc., NY. Page 255).
This carpet ball is in good to fair condition with a few patches of glaze loss that include small gaps in the black lines, too (see Photos 7 and 8). The largest patch of missing glaze is about 1/4 inch wide by 3/4 inches and is shown with a pencil pointing to it in Photo 8. More details on the condition of this carpet ball is given below in the Condition section.
So if you are looking for a nice example of an antique carpet bowl from Great Britain that is more than 130 years old, then make sure you seriously consider this one while it is still available. And as always, this carpet ball also comes with my Docs Antiques 100% satisfaction guarantee or you may return it using my return policy (see complete Return Policy details farther below). You also have the option to ask for a customized lay-away plan for purchasing this item (and others when combining orders) by simply requesting the terms you wish to use and then let Doc take care of setting it up and combining any items together as desired (payment installments may be modified at any time should the unexpected ever arise, just let me know by email and I’ll change the due dates).
SIZE & CONDITION: This carpet ball has a diameter of about 3 inches and weighs almost one pound. It has no cracks, hairlines or major stains (see all Photos). Still, it is in used condition and like many antique carpet balls also has a few patches of glaze loss that include small gaps in the black lines, too (see Photos 7 and 8). The largest patch of missing glaze is about 1/4 inch wide by 3/4 inches and is shown with a pencil pointing to it in Photo 8. Still and in all, more than 94% of the glaze is intact on this ball and less than 3% of the underglaze black lines have been lost due to the missing glaze. Importantly, all of the missing glaze is restricted to a small area of the ball that when positioned downward on a ring stand is not visible from the side or top. Of course, if the buyer is not 100% satisfied, then she/he may return this carpet ball for a refund (see our complete return policy for all details as stated below).
SHIPPING: All US mainland buyers pay $8.80 for well packed USPS Priority Mail and this is an estimated savings of $1 to $3 since insurance and tracking are INCLUDED in this amount. That is, the insured postage you pay for delivery in the US is always less than our actual costs or we refund the difference back to you, and there are never any handling or packing fees added to any of your Docs Antiques purchases, ever. All international buyers will also pay less than the actual shipping costs for all verifiable locations outside the Continental US mainland. Send us your address and we will email you up to four options for sending this item to your country. We only use the USPS for International shipping to reduce broker fees and certain Custom’s charges when an item is over 100 years old and the option you select allows for enclosing a special waiver. Please note that international import duties, taxes and other special charges are not included in the item price or our shipping costs and these additional charges are the Buyer's responsibility. We do offer a petition waiver for VAT relief on the behalf of the buyer which may help reduce certain import taxes when your country grants such petitions for items over 100 years old and the shipping option you select allows a waiver request to be included. Please check with your country's Customs Office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to purchasing this item -- thanks.
RETURN POLICY: Satisfaction and peace of mind are guaranteed for all Docs Antiques listings here on Ruby Lane. And this means that if the buyer is unhappy with a purchase, then she/he may return it by sending the item back undamaged and post marked within fourteen days of the original receipt of the item at your address for a refund (certain shipping costs are non-refundable, please insure the item upon return and add tracking). Items damaged by shipping in the US are covered by insurance and while this rarely happens because we pack professionally, we will gladly help you file your insurance claim should it ever be necessary. Of course, never send an item back that has been damaged by shipping since that will void the original insurance. Instead, contact us for help if you have any questions and we will gladly assist.
PAYMENT OPTIONS: Checks on US Banks (no temporary checks, all checks must have 9 digit routing code; item ships after check fully clears), USPS money orders, PayPal, or contact us with your verified address for more options. If you wish to use a credit card by way of PayPal, then that option becomes available after you submit a Ruby Lane purchase order. Once submitted, a PayPal icon will appear at the bottom of this listing and then you may proceed from there if you wish to pay via PayPal by way of a credit card. Or see our Terms of Sale for additional information should you wish to ask for a customized layaway plan customized to your own needs and situation (email me a request for a customized layaway). Thanks for looking and we invite you back again when you have more time.