Antique English Spongeware Bowl Spatterware Circa 1910 Folk Art
We could not resist this highly decorative example of genuine antique English spongeware. This fine example has THE most charming hand painted Cockerel (rooster) to the inside of the bowl flanked by tall flowering hand painted foliage. This Cockerel design would have been influenced by the iconic Welsh Llanelly Pottery spongeware designs of this period.
There is a naive charm to antique spongeware that is VERY easy to live with. Its repeating sponged designs has a comforting simplicity and the bright polychrome colors cannot help but bring a smile even on a cloudy day. These utilitarian pieces were created for use in a farmhouse and are now just as useful for holding eggs, fruit or a summer salad. A collection of spongeware looks fabulous displayed on an pine dresser. It also works beautifully with more faience and majolica pieces.
Spongeware was popular throughout most of the 19th century and was produced by several potteries in England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. Our example although free of maker's marks as was common, hints to us of English production. Spongeware was also a 'cottage industry' where blank items would be purchased cheaply and then decorated at home with fine pored sponges by Women. These decorated wares then returned to the pottery for a final firing. Children worked at the potteries too and were usually only trusted to apply the sponged designs; the older, more talented workers were entrusted with the hand painting!! Of course during the last 10 years that has been a huge reawakening to the charm of such pieces and original antique hand painted examples are now highly sought after.
This lipped bowl measures 7 7/8" diameter by 2 5/8" high.
This is a very well potted bowl. The pottery body has the most perfect weight and balance to it...it does not feel rustic, it feels quality. The flattened top lip is very attractive and suits the dark green outer sponged sprig decoration perfectly. The deep sides slope with a gentle diagonal gradient to the 4 5/8" recessed foot/ base. The central design of the handsome cockerel fills the inner bowl of the base. The cockerel is hand painted over what could be the very faint remains of a black transfer. The tall and very graceful leaves are also hand painted but the raspberry and inky blue flowers are sponged . All of the decoration is applied under the wonderful glossy glaze which has a very faint bluey green almost pearlware quality. To the base is an impressed number 3 and a black stamp under the glaze with number 29. We adore the spontaneity of the hand painting, yes a little blurred and run in places but this all adds to the uniqueness of each piece....no two will be the same!!
Condition is very good but as is very common with antique spongeware - sadly not perfect. There is very fine crazing to the glaze all over. There is an air crack firing fault at 6 o'clock ( part of the drying process in the kiln). There are two 3" long, faint and barely perceptible hairlines at 6 o'clock and 10 o'clock. But please be assured nothing that is unstable or particularly detrimental.
This is a wonderfully decorative example that is waiting to impress in its next home. Of course, free worldwide postage is included in our price.
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