A Victorian Harrods department store flagon with strap handle and bold nineteenth century typeface: "Harrod's Stores Ltd Grocery Dept 87 to 135 Brompton Rd". It is part of a private collection, which we have recently purchased - all of which we now offer through our online store only (see images).
Throughout Victorian Britain hand-thrown glazed stoneware vessels were used for the transportation and storage of liquids such as beer, wine, vinegar and mineral water. Not wanting to miss an opportunity to advertise themselves, grocers, brewers and dealers had their trade names transferred onto their flagons and bottles - often along with instruction to return their empty vessels (see images). By the nineteenth century the flagon-making industry was dominated by two Bristol based companies, Powell and Price; and in 1906 Price absorbed their rival Powell and the firm became Price, Powell & Co, remaining in business until the mid-twentieth century, when glass and plastics finally took over.
Stoneware is a type of pottery fired to a temperature above 1200C. The high temperature vitrifies the clay so that even in an unglazed state it is watertight. Our flagon is a good example of the the two-tone 'Bristol Glaze' invented by Powell in 1835, which improved the appearance of glazed vessels and made them resistant to the absorption of more acidic liquids inside and out.
Country of origin: UK
Date of manufacture: c.1900
Material: glazed stoneware
Dimensions: Height 21cm, Width 11cm
Condition: good with small firing fault to shoulder (see image)