Thursday, July 15, 2021

Chinoiserie Mystery Solved/TMI

This is it!

Thank you all so much for all your ideas on my mystery object. The suggestions were so creative. Several of you came up with a slop pot or chamber pot and that's exactly what it is. A Victoria Ware English Ironstone Blue Flow/Flo Blue Slop Pot/Chamber Pot/Commode/Slop Pail. I'll let you figure out or look up what these were used for.... I refuse to have those words searchable on my blog. LOL

BUT IT'S A FAKE!!!

From my Google image search - 

It is a reproduction. I never thought they were valuable antiques - I bought them years ago for nothing. I just really liked them. I was hoping they were for steaming dim sum or for brewing tea or for something else I love.

It was the poster child for this article on blue and white reproductions. In fact, it was their first example of fakes. Too funny.

Repro Slop Pot

"Flo Blue, Blue Willow, and Staffordshire Historical Blue are all names of various wares decorated with underglaze transfer designs in cobalt blue. Although limited reproductions of all those types have been made for many years, new blue transferware now occupies entire pages of reproduction wholesale catalogs. Several American wholesalers each sell over 40 new shapes; one English supplier offers nearly 100 pieces.

Many new pieces have patterns identical, or at least very similar, to authentic 19th century patterns. These old-appearing patterns are applied to new pieces made in 19th century shapes such as tea caddies, toothbrush holders, pitcher and wash basins and others. Almost all the reproductions are also marked with symbols, trade names and words found in original 19th century marks.

Mark from my piece

In other words, it is increasingly common to find new blue transferware with original patterns on 19th century shapes with marks of well-known 19th century manufacturers. Knowing just a few basic differences between new and old will help you detect and avoid the great majority of these confusing copies."

I highly recommend you read this article. It is a fast read, and you will learn so much about transferware, designs, shape, glaze, and marks to help identify reproductions. Trust me, I have no problem with reproductions whatsoever. Most of my blue and white in my home are reproductions. But I don't want to pay big money for fakes without knowing better.

Unbelievably, I found several of these identical to mine that have been sold by antiques dealers and one for sale right now. And not one seller revealed they are reproductions! They use terms like "rare," "England," "highly collectible," "Victoria Ware," "Blue Flow," and "Ironstone," and the selling price is about 1,000% or ten times higher than I paid. 

The one for sale right now is offered by an antiques dealer in California. No mention that it is a repro. On their site, I also found a "mid century cabinet" that I have the exact same one - but I bought it at Pier One Imports a few years ago! Mid century? They have to know better.

I suspect these dealers would argue that they are describing the style as opposed to the age or origin, but that is really parsing things. It is very disingenuous in my book.

At any rate, I so appreciate all your ideas and the solution to this puzzle. I will definitely keep looking online and will come up with a pair of these slop pots at some point at a more sensible price point. I must admit that I liked the idea more that they were food or beverage related. Something about a porta potty creeps me out a bit. More than a bit. I might just pass. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.


20 comments:

  1. This post is interesting, educational, and absolutely hysterical. I was laughing so hard my coffee sprayed everywhere. Love your blog!

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  2. Great information. Thanks for posting this.

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  3. Since you use them outdoors, they could be for cow manure!

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  4. yeah, those repro pieces are so obvious to spot--the weight, the glaze, and the color AND the art. Authentic pieces have a delicacy to them, don't they? But, a repro is great for abusive situations like outdoor use

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    1. It depends, higher end repros can be done very well and a lot of authentic transferware and ironstone is not delicate to me. Actually, some of my prettiest pieces are reproductions.

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  5. Beth thanks for this very interesting post and the informative article on transferware. I had a feeling that your piece was more of a "personal" nature rather than for cooking or tea. BTW, I look forward to your posts every day to perk up my humdrum life and love of design.

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  6. Beth, you are so funny. It's still pretty, and I wouldn't let it's original purpose bother me.

    This is one reason why I still like buying things in person. There is no substitute for seeing the actual item, talking to the sales person, and being able to ask questions. I'm wondering just how reputable these "antique dealers" are. I hate to come across as being negative, but with the internet, it's so much easier to fool people.

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    1. I personally love online shopping and most of the online stores I shop have free returns. I am not alone - LOL. I so prefer shopping from my house and computer and the pandemic made it even far more so. Even with antiques, I love the proliferation of online auctions. HomeGoods is about the only place I enjoy in person.

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  7. This was wan entertaining post!! I’m glad the mystery has been solved, thank you for the information about repros

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    1. Knowledge is power - I certainly learned from the article. Thanks!

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  8. Thank you for this. I really enjoyed reading your post and the article.

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  9. I like the idea of it being a flower frog better! LOL!

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  10. So much better to have a reproduction of a utilitarian item of this sort rather than one that was actually in service don’t you think? 😜 that way you can use it for a planter without being creeped out. Pamela

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