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Grigsby, Leslie B. (Leslie Brown) / The Longridge collection of English slipware and delftware. Delftware
Volume 2 (2000)

Barber basins and a chamber pot,   pp. 461-464


Page 461

 
DELFTWARE Apothecary and 
               Hygiene-Related Wares 
D412. BARBER BASIN 
Barber Basins and a Chamber Pot 
Probably London or Bristol 
1700-1720 
H.: 2" (5.1 cm); Diam.: 10 3/8" (26.4 cm) 
BODY CLAY: Fine-grained buff, 
TIN GLAZE: White with a few pits. 
Overall, excluding footrim edge. 
SHAPE: Thrown, with cut notch, 
sunken soap well, and two pierced 
holes (apparently repierced after firing). 
Applied, nearly cylindrical footrim with 
sharply angled inner wall. Triangular 
arrangement of peg marks behind rim. 
DECORATION: Painted. Barbers' 
implements. 
1. Mountlord and Celoria, 17th Century Sources, 
p. 11, no. 15, citing "Brit. Mus. Add. Ms. 81,175, 
tlti 48r. 51 r." For Sir Kenehin )igby (1603 166511, 
author, naval commander, and diploiat, see 
National Biography, vol. 5, pp. 965-971, 
2. Britton, Inventories, p. 64, Britton, Pickle- 
herring, pp. 67, 68, 77. See Also Grigsby, 
Chipstone, no. 99. 
3. Crellin, Wellcome, nos. 457 463. 
4. Archer, Rijksnmseuin, no. 92 (Pharmaceutical 
Society of London collection, no. 11OW.20): Brit- 
ton, london, no. 124; Austin, Delft, no. 574. 
5. See Archer, V&A, p. 316, for Marcellus 
laroon's c. 1765 painting (Yale Centre for Brlitish 
Art, Paul Mellon collection1 showing such a 
head in use in a barbering scene. 
6. Britton, London, no. 124; Crellin, Wellcome, 
no. 461 (left). 
LE   arly references to vessels of this general type include an entry for
"1: bar- 
binge bason" followed by "3: other plaine basons" that appears
in the 1664 
estate inventory taken for "Kenelme Digbyes House,"' and entries
for 583 delft 
barber basins (or "basons") are found in the 1699 inventory of
the Pickleherring 
factory in Southwark. Some of the latter are identified under "White
and Paint- 
ed Perfect Ware" as "small" or "small middle" and
under "Clay Ware" as "mean 
midle" and "small midle [Barbers basonsl."' Barber basins
continued to be made 
in England and on the Continent in ceramics and metalwork into the nine-
teenth century.' 
   This barber basin fits into a group of borderless examples that were painted
by different decorators and display imaginatively drawn barbers' implements
spilling over from the central wells onto the rims.' The types of tools shown
on 
the bowls vary widely: the Longridge example stands out for its two wigs
(cen- 
ter), wig heads, unusually simple form of scissors, and elaborately edged
large 
mirror. A smaller circular mirror on another English barber basin and a square
one on a possibly Dutch example inscribed "[IAN M]AEISOM" show
reflected 
men's heads.' Rollers, balls of soap, twine, soap-mixing cups, lancets (for
bleed- 
ing), perfume or lotion bottles, brushes, and razors are other common motifs.
The Longridge Collection 461 
1E 


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