A Very Attractive Regency Period Painted Toleware Foot Bath c.1810-20

Origin: English
Period: Regency
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1810-20
Height: 9.25”
Width: 21.5”
Depth: 16”

Of ovoid form, the attractive Regency period hand painted toleware footbath having applied scroll handles, the lemon yellow basin with a single turquoise band to the upper section, in very much the Regency taste, with remnants of a red painted band to the lip and to the handles, the whole in original condition surviving from the first quarter of nineteenth century England.

There are minor faults apparent from the illustrations, paint scratches and wear with some paint fleck losses commensurate with use, whilst the handles are slightly loose though still stable. She remains complete and un-meddled with, which is very appealing.

Toleware refers to kitchen-related objects created from metal, typically tin or thin steel, and are often in decorative styles such as Arts and Crafts and Regency as we see here. Decorative painting on these items is common but is not always the case. This style of decorative art spread from Europe, where it was referred to as Japanning, to the United States in the 18th century.

According to 19th–century physician John Bell; ‘pains of the head, teeth and eyes would yield to the foot bath’ with the use of cold water and constant rubbing of the feet while in the bath helping to dispel illness. They weren’t used just for ailments but also for ladies’ beauty training in the Regency period; “Another hour's active exercise was recommended before going to bed followed by a foot bath with tepid water and another session with a skin brush or nibbed cotton cloth. One should go to bed no later than ten in the evening.”

Extremely attractive and in wonderfully original condition, this beauty could be put to any number of good uses today.