This example is a fake that may often be found described as 'late 19th century' simply because '1890' is included in the mark seen on the bottom. Also it is often described as 'stoneware' and 'flow blue' - but look carefully, because it is none of the above. The cow decoration is very similar to a known blue and white stoneware pitcher design, but the animal has the look of modern day dairy cows bred solely for producing milk, which were unknown in the 19th century. Note the exact same image shows on both sides of the pitcher. No attempt was made to do more than decorate both sides with the image of a cow. 19th century examples this pitcher is trying to imitate generally had integrated scenes that traveled all around the body and included additional bucolic details.
The glaze on the surface bears no resemblance to Flow Blue. Even the tone of the blue itself is not quite right, it's not deep enough, too bright and modern looking. The mark suggests the pitcher should be Ironstone, but the image of the base shows the item is actually made of a simpler ceramic that is light in weight. This is not the vitreous body of high fired stoneware. So, the mark "Ironstone England 1890" is not actually intended to help identify substance or maker so much as it is meant to encourage a novice buyer to mistakenly believe the numbers represent a year date for the actual year the item was made.
A pitcher made in 1890 realistically would have at one point seen some actual use. But the image of the interior, even though somewhat blurred, shows this is a new piece that has never seen table use. And if the glaze contains lead, as the glazes of many imported fakes and reproduction items do, this pitcher never, ever, should see any kind of table use.
The pitcher is 6 1/2 inches tall and measures 7 5/8 inches from the edge of the lip to the end of the handle.
This same mark is also found on pitcher and bowl sets currently available from reproduction wholesale sources.
Illustrations and Characteristics for Help in Identifying Many Confusing New Items
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