1860's Winn's Anticardium Stoneware Ink Bottle, Victorian Mourning
Thickly impressed on this 1860's Winn ink bottle the advertising text reads: "Winn’s Anticardium, or Black & Blue Reviver, Morgan & Son, Blackfriars Road, London" with an embossed oval maker’s mark of "Bailey & Co., Fulham"
This is a beautiful old early glazed antique stoneware London bottle is impressed with Dr. Winn's advertising text. At first glance we may think this to be a vintage medical Quack remedy, as in "reviving" the weary London masses. Not so!
Victorian mourning customs mandated widows to wear full mourning clothing for a period of 2 years. Other direct family members were were allowed one year, grandparents and siblings 6 months, uncles, aunts were allowed 2 months and cousins a mere 4 weeks of darkness. Mourning attire was big business in the era of Queen Victoria, and many mourning clothing stores sprung up in response, with the millinery hat and dressmaker's trades benefitting greatly from the response.
Mourning was a lucrative business. The average life expectancy was 40 years in Victorian England, and sadly, 3 out of every 20 babies died before seeing their first birthday. Here we have a wonderful "reviver" dye stoneware bottle, which held a deep black dye to revive your daily mourning clothes. It contained a blacking solution to add to black clothing, hats, and fabrics. Dr. Winn was also known for other impressed London bottles and tokens of the era.
Thomas Edward Pryce manufactured Dr. Winn's Anticardium in London. His occupation is seen as an "oil man" and "colourman" in English directory and census records, one who deals in the manufacturing of paints and oils.
Charles Dickens himself speaks of the reviver in his book "Sketches by Boz, Illustrative of Every-Day Life and Every-Day People", published in 1836. A wonderful collection of 56 sketches concerning London and it's scenes and people, Dicken's sketch "Shabby Genteel People" refers to the phenomena of "reviving": "His clothes were a fine, deep, glossy black; and yet they looked like the same suit; nay, there were the very darns with which old acquaintance had made us familiar. The hat, too-nobody could mistake the shape of that hat, with its high crown gradually increasing in circumference towards the top. Long service had imparted to it a reddish-brown tint; but, now, it was as black as the coat. The truth flashed suddenly upon us-they had been "revived." It is a deceitful liquid, that black and blue reviver; we have watched its effects on many a shabby genteel man. It betrays its victims into a temporary assumption of importance: possibly into the purchase of a new pair of gloves, or a cheap stock, or some other trifling article of dress. It elevates their spirits for a week, only to depress them, if possible, below their original level. It was so in this case; the transient dignity of the unhappy man decreased, in exact proportion as the "reviver" wore off."
History of Fulham Pottery: Fulham, London was a thriving English pottery area, with the first stoneware pottery business known there by John Dwight 1637-1703 of Oxfordshire, who was an innovator in the world of stoneware, producing wares, quality and use of glaze not seen before. Dwight took out a patent for "transparent earthenware, commonly knowne by the names of porcelaine or china" and "stoneware, vulgarly called Cologne ware." In the mid 18th century, a family member, William White took over the works until 1864, when Charles Bailey bought the pottery company renaming it as "Bailey & Co.", with partners M., C. or J.C. Cazin and the Martin Brothers. Bailey refitted the company and expanded, receiving an 1872 Dublin Exhibition medal for stoneware and terra cotta ware, decorative vases and statues, but also industrial works such as chimney shafts, stoves and other architectural elements. The Martin brothers were known to have been instrumental in this area of the company. The Baily company was bankrupt by 1888, selling in 1889 to the Fulham Pottery and Cheavin Filter Company Ltd.
The condition of this early Winn bottle is wonderful, clean and deeply impressed, as seen in scans. No chips and no restoration. A beautiful old advertising piece recently found in Tavistock, Devon, England. It was made in England during the 1860's.
See another piece on our site, 1860'S Antique W. Berry Manchester & London Stoneware Blacking Bottle here.
Size: 4.5 x 2.5 inches
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