Three Mid-20thC Chinese Papier-mâché Storage Buckets

Period: Mid 20thC
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1950
One: 17” high x 14.5” diameter
Two: 12.75” high x 13.75” diameter
Three: 15” high x 16” diameter

The marvellously colourful trio of papier-mache baskets or pots, having floral rose themed exteriors in differing shades of pink and ivory, the interiors with newspaper cuttings, each surviving from mid-century China.

Remaining in good overall condition considering their relative fragility, the buckets are all intact and without major damages, with some natural mis-shapening and lots of interesting text and pictures to the insides.

Papier mâché became an industry in England in 1772 when Henry Clay of Birmingham took out a patent for its making and as a result produced the inexpensive plastic of its time, easily be molded into desired shapes. As indicated by its name, it was mashed or pulped paper, which was first, molded, then baked, to drive off the moisture that had reduced it to pulp. When it became firm and hard it was finished with an enamel-like coat of paint and was then ready for a wide variety of decorative treatment.

These could be utilised as storage for any number of items or even as wastepaper baskets.

Brilliantly colourful, wonderfully versatile.