Thats a great story Fred. No more spittoons, okay? This incident will go down in the annals of history as the great 2020 spittoon war. I mean pipe ashtray war!! Lol.So, my friends... whilst I was hoping to stimulate vigorous discourse, my intention was not to create frustration...
I actually knew what it was when I saw it and figured the individual that was it's last user/owner didn't know or care what it was ...he or she decided it worked as a pipe ashtray. I have had one of these before and it was quite similar.. but I remember it was somewhat different in that it's side evacuation hole was a little lower and the whole piece was just a bit cruder. I bought my first one at an auction in Sugarloaf N.Y. in 1985. It was well documented as a Bennington/Rockingham Shell cushion drip glazed cuspidor. They attributed it to the Norton factory in it's later decades 1850's to 1870's. Because of this pieces somewhat hurried manufacturing appearance and it pretty sharp details, I'm thinking this one was even later. I have done quite a bit of research about this piece and the Vermont stoneware & pottery ware. Many artisan craftsmen made their own style of a particular piece ( I've found so many variations of the theme, it has to be, just look around the interweb) I've found on just this particular piece dozens of smaller, higher, lower and different shaped side holes. The hole in the middle can vary as much as 1 - 2"!
I actually agree that the sputum, if not well aimed, may slow and stick to the sloped sides.. I believe that this piece Would serve pretty well as a pipe ashtray. I imagine that it's previous owner might have something to say about that.... the corncob pipe appeared, from what was left of it, was field made I think and it was smallish, I thought it might have fell through the center hole a time or two..
So, to wrap up, it's pretty cool... maybe still an enigma or point of intellectual conflict, but it humbly and happily sits on the floor of my living room next to several stoneware jugs. And starts conversation when ppl come by my place, so I'm content too.
One just like yours. Just wanted to throw it out there.Two months ago, I found an old collapsed house deep in the woods. Most of it imploded on itself into it's cellar. One side wall was partly still standing because of a very tall Frigidaire super heavy looking refrigerator was holding it up. I wish to this day I had my phone with me(the one time it wasn't attached to my hip) Anyways, I did some peeping and kicking and snooping. Next to the fridge, on the mostly rotted and missing floor that revealed a raccoon skeleton was this item. It had been used as a pipe ashtray there a mostly eaten (mice?)corncob pipe in it and of course plenty of mouse scat and ash evidence. It took a bit to reach it safely and bring it home and it was a monster to clean up, but here it is now.....
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Ok, Robby this is back up info that kinda helps the argument , But! They even flubbed when they wrote the title of the item saying it's 18th century. And then though the glaze pattern is same or similar and the hole to pour out the collected matter is similar which also helps to point out that each crafter or maker accomplished the general pattern requirements satisfactorily but not exactly. Furthermore, the possible differing locations of manufacture could also point to the differences.One just like yours. Just wanted to throw it out there.
Each one is unique. Personalized by the potter. Haha! Fred-Pet detective.Ok, Robby this is back up info that kinda helps the argument , But! They even flubbed when they wrote the title of the item saying it's 18th century. And then though the glaze pattern is same or similar and the hole to pour out the collected matter is similar which also helps to point out that each crafter or maker accomplished the general pattern requirements satisfactorily but not exactly. Furthermore, the possible differing locations of manufacture could also point to the differences.
....whoooof, just typed that like I would a long "Ace Ventura" explanation - in one huge breath. haha!
Thanks, this is fun,
Hey... that’s what I was just getting ready to say. I bet that was fun to clean... talk about stinky....The corncob pipe is the clue -- it's a pipe ashtray. Pipe dottle drops into the hole so it doesn't smolder and stink in the tray. No one here ever smoked a tobacco pipe?