Antique Handpainted Floral Sugar Bowl with Lid - Burfords Porcelain circa 1879-1904
But these seemingly fragile people are the strong people really. Tennessee Williams
It's always a joy when antique dishware displays its flaws so proudly. Besides its lovely shape and pretty purple flowers, the one thing you'll notice right away on this antique sugar bowl is the broken handle crudely repaired a really long time ago. Over 140 years old, this antique sugar bowl was made by a pottery that was in business for only twenty-one years - a mere slip of time when it comes to American dishware manufacturing.
In some cases, flaws can render an item useless - but in this case - a flaw makes it all the more beautiful.
Burfords was an East Liverpool, Ohio-based pottery started by three brothers - Oliver, Robert, and George - in 1879. Originally founded to manufacture tiles, Burfords branched out to produce all sorts of ironstone and ceramic items for domestic use, even expanding into hotelware for lodging establishments around the country. But by 1905, they were out of business. The fate of a dishware empire for the brothers clearly not in their cards.
There are two distinct types of collectors in the antique world - those that love centuries-old pieces in absolutely pristine condition and those who appreciate a little evidence of a time-traveled life. Here in the Vintage Kitchen, we fall into the latter group. We love things that look like they have been around in the world for a while collecting stories, collecting character. The person who falls in love with this sugar bowl will be of the same mindset. Three centuries of history come home to live here in this one vessel.
Evidenced by the dark discoloration around the broken sections (4 places in total) of one handle, in the crazing lines woven around the inside and out, there is love - enough to make an effort to piece a rough and tumble moment back together. And even more evidence of that love sticking in order for that humble repair job to survive decades upon decades of continued life. That is the epitome of tender care - something clearly shown to a sentimental piece that someone at some point in time valued and adored.
It's easy to be careless about some things that are massed produced and that we have no connection to, but when something is special - hand-touched, hand-made, handpainted it takes on an important life of its own. That's the case here with the 142-year-old sugar bowl with the broken but repaired handle.
- Two-piece set includes a removable lid and base
-Colors include concord grape, pine green, slate grey, and gold
- Handpainted florals and gold detailing
- Lovely aged patina
As stated above, there is a broken but repaired handle and crazing throughout on the inside and out. Please note that although this sugar bowl is marked Burfords Porcelaine - it is in fact not made of porcelain - that is a type of clay that the pottery was known for extolling yet they never made porcelain items. Was this a bit of tomfoolery on Burfords part? Absolutely! Perhaps that is why they were in business for only two decades.
Measures 5.5" inches (height) x 6.5" inches (width) and weighs just a smidge under 1lb.