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Antique English Ironstone Advertising PURE MILK Pail 🐄 Cows RARE


Brand B

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Here is a very hard to find Victorian white ironstone cream / milk pail, made in a conical banded form with decorative applied moulded handles. The face of the pail is decorated in black transfer with the rarely offered grazing dairy cattle pictorial above, which reads “PURE MILK” in bold lettering.

This pail is slightly smaller than the majority of milk pails found which makes it a little more unusual.  This comes from my personal collection room which I’m having to pare down.  The antique MARGARINE slab is for sale also.

Traditionally dairy cows were kept inside the city of London with people buying milk directly from their local owners, who had purchased the exclusive rights to an area called a ‘milk-walk’. The quality was often poor with the animals experiencing poor living environments and dreadful diets, resulting in poor quality milk, that was often further degraded by being topped up with water. In 1865 there was a massive cull in London due to the cattle plague. George Barham founded the ‘Express Country Milk Supply Company’ in 1864, bringing high quality milk from country farms overnight into London. The business prospered and in 1885 it became the ‘Express Dairy Company Limited’ bringing 30,000 gallons of milk into the capital every night which was about one half of London’s needs. He was an inventor, giving us the milk churn and other equipment for the supply, storage and refrigeration of milk, allowing him to reliably transport his milk safely and hygienically, as well as inventions for the production and supply of other dairy products. Around this time the equipment side of the business was separated and became the ‘Dairy Supply Company’ along with 24 retail dairies combined with tea shops. In 1917 the companies merged with other dairy companies to become more efficient in face of the loss of men and horses to the Great War. It is believed that this pail dates to this period, so is not marked as 'Dairy Supply Company.' Research indicates that Doulton produced  much of this ceramic wear, but this piece appears to  have been made by another Staffordshire pottery. These  pails would have been display pieces in the windows of the retail dairies, so were made in very small numbers. 

 A rare, highly collectable piece.

 Approximate dimensions:

14”  handle to handle

9 1/2” tall

Condition: no chips or cracks