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Barber's basin: C.1516-1928

An image of Barber's basin

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Object information


Possibly Temple Back Pottery (Production)


Tin-glazed earthenware painted in blue with barber's implements

Buff earthenware, coated with bluish-white, shiny tin-glaze, and painted in blue. Circular with deep curved sides, and a wide flange with a depression for a soap ball, and a D-shaped area cut out. The inside is decorated with two concentric circles enclosing implements associated with barbers: a comb; locks of hair, a folding cut-throat razor, a shaving brush, a soap-ball and two lancets (?). Also cross-bones indicative of the barber's roll as a surgeon. The flange is decorated with two formal borders, perhaps stylized leaves.


History note: William Fuller Maitland collection, Stansted Hall, Stansted, Essex; Stansted Hall sale, September 1922; bought by Mr J. Wordingham, dealer, Hope House, Coram Road, Norwich, from whom purchased in Cambridge for £4 on 21 November 1922 by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge.

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 26.3 cm
Height: 7.2 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Bristol ⪼ Somerset ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1928-12-07) by Glaisher, J. W. L., Dr


Third quarter of 18th century
George III
Circa 1760 CE - 1765 1765 CE


The basin was held up to the customer’s or master’s chin to prevent lather from falling onto their clothes.

Components of the work

Decoration: composed of high-temperature colour ( blue from cobalt)

Materials used in production

bluish white and very shiny Tin-glaze buff Earthenware

Techniques used in production

Tin-glazing : Buff earthenware, probably thrown or thrown over mould, coated in bluish-white, very shiny tin-glaze, and painted in blue

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1516-1928
Primary reference Number: 72129
Old object number: 4013
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 16 February 2021 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2020) "Barber's basin" Web page available at: Accessed: 2021-11-27 14:50:05

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{{cite web|url=|title=Barber's basin|author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2021-11-27 14:50:05|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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