Victorian Wedgwood 'Raspberry' spirit casket
A very rare, early spirit casket by Wedgwood, beautifully hand painted to dispense Raspberry cordial or wine and complete with its original lid.
Originally sold as a plain white dispenser by Wedgwood, it would have been purchased by shop fitting retailers to be decorated and re-sold, or directly to bar-keeps and establishment owners to paint themselves. They would be individually decorated/labelled to serve a variety of beverages, with catalogue references from one shopfitter showing elaborate examples for Gin & Brandy (see pictures). Relatively simple & naive in its execution but quite charming, this lovely casket is hand painted with bold gilt 'Raspberry' lettering on a green lozenge, surrounded by green leaf details & pinstripes.
Made of white glazed moulded earthenware, the top is decorated in relief with vine leaves and a bunch of grapes, which could (and has) also be interpreted as a raspberry. The sides have applied scalloped handles, with the scalloped design repeated in the recessed tap surround on the front of the casket.
Fitted with an original Victorian white porcelain tap sealed by cork, the shaft bears the impressed makers mark for Nichols & Co. Manchester, with the two sides of the screw tab impressed with 'On' & 'Off'.
The underside is impressed with the Wedgwood makers mark, along with a three-letter mark system used on earthenwares between 1860 - 1906. The first letter indicates the month, the second the potter and lastly the year. Although slightly difficult to read, the date letter of 'D' can be seen at the end of this mark, dating the piece to 1875. After 1891 the word ENGLAND was added to the Wedgwood trademark.
26.5cm tall (10-1/2")
33cm wide (13")
16.8cm deep (6-5/8")
10cm lid diameter(4")
A very scarce item in superb original condition with no chips or cracks. Some tiny firing faults and wear, along with staining and light glaze crazing. Paint losses in small spots, but luckily has not been interfered with since its original painting.
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