Early 1800s Painted Tinware (Toleware) Bread Basket
This beautiful little early American painted tinware bread basket was possibly painted by Sarah Rose Briscoe (1772-1822) or one of her nieces, all of whom worked for a company in Steven Plains, a town near Portland, Maine. There is a a specimen of this type of bread basket with the same yellow painted background and a similar flower decoration in Winterthur Museum in Wilmington, DE.
Painted tinware became popular in England in the mid 1600s when 'japanned' painted items became all the rage in the upper classes of society and was exported to the American colonies by the early 1700s so the colonist could follow the trends in England. The bright colors and highly decorated surfaces were most prominent in the early 1800s with the 1820s-1830s the height of painted designs.
Painted tinware that we find today range in age from the early 1820s to the 1870s with the most vibrant from the 1830s. Even though painted tinware was not meant to be kept and cherished in this 'new age' of easy to produce painted tin pieces with most being utilitarian in nature. With their vibrant colors and handpainted designs, these little pieces of our history are the definitely undervalued and not cherished as much as a wood bowl or early document box but they are just as important to our history and can add a touch of whimsey to our lives today. It is 8" x 12.5" and stands 3" tall at each end of the basket.
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