Antique P.H. Leonard Covered Dish Tureen - Pink Floral circa 1850s-1900
Mr. Leonard is known far and wide only to be respected for his honorable and equitable methods and has developed a trade whose character and magnitude indicate the large measure of confidence reposed in him by the trade generally. (from New York's Leading Businesses, 1885)
New York City in the mid-to-late 1800s was an exciting time in the dish world. Importers set up shops not only offering, but also representing, the artistry of European potteries overseas. Building relationships with makers and then with consumers, New York City during this time period was bustling with entrepreneurs promoting fine tableware for the discerning buyer. The American market was a competitive business - one that relied heavily on good reputations, impeccable management, and a trustworthy sales approach.
One such lauded business owner was P.H. Leonard, whose shop was located on Murray Street in Lower Manhattan between the 1850s-1900. Making contacts and gaining the trust of potteries in Limoge, France and other European cities in Austria and Germany, P.H. created a network of manufacturers that would provide products to stock his shop back in New York. Known for his discerning taste in high-quality ceramics and porcelain, P.H. and his dish shop was held in high regard throughout his fifty years in operation.
One example of his refined eye is this floral covered dish, acquired by Leonard from a pottery in Vienna, Austria. Featuring pink flowers, gold-accented handles, and a removable lid, this hefty (5lbs!) piece of serving ware emotes fine craftsmanship from every angle. Most likely intended for use as a soup tureen, given in its notch in the lid for a ladle, your imagination doesn't have to travel far to envision a warm stew or a hearty vegetable soup bubbling up inside.
A gorgeous piece of New York history, Viennese craftsmanship, and American entrepreneurism, this antique tureen holds so much history underneath its lid. It could practically make you dizzy with wonder. Imagine the journey it took via steamer ship from Vienna to America. Imagine the Murray Street shop where it arrived, the customer who bought it, and the house she took it home to. Imagine the city itself with its dirt streets and horse and buggy carriages. And then imagine all the 19th century foods that would have been, could have been, served in this pretty little vessel. Such daydreams!
In addition, to use as a serving piece, it also makes a lovely year-round display piece and a holder. Simply remove the lid and you have a vessel for flower arrangements in the spring, ornaments in the winter, ghost pumpkins in the fall, and garden vegetables in the summer.
Hailing from the same time period, this tureen also looks stunning with this antique vegetable dish , made in 1874, and distributed by a fellow NYC competitor, Lazarus Straus & Sons.
- Two-piece set includes removable lid and base
- Pink floral design on all four sides and lid
- Inside, the lid is marked with a handwritten number
- Bottom of base is marked with the Leonard Vienna backstamp
- Colors include beige, brown, light pink, and lavender
In beautiful antique condition. No cracks, crazing, or staining. There are three slight age-old chips in the top rim of the tureen. These are old surface chips that have been worn smooth over time and do not affect the use of the integrity of the dish in any way. Please see photos.
Measures 13.75" inches length (handle to handle) x 7" Inches (width) x 6.5" inches (height).