This 18” earthenware bowl has been a prize in our collection for more than 40 years. It was made in Granada, Spain about 1850. The galena (lead ore) blue and green glaze decorations were applied over a milk-white slip. A snarling animal is the featured figure.
At one time the vessel was broken into 5 distinct pieces with 2 large cracks that didn’t actually break apart. The bowl was so coveted that 26 iron “pins,” were used, in semi-ancient times, to put it back together and secure the pieces in place. To affect that end, 52 holes were drilled into, (but not through) the ½” thick sides and bottom.
Evidently the bowl continued to be useful for many years after it was repaired because all of the iron pins are heavily rusted, ostensibly from being in water.
When the bowl’s life as a utilitarian object was discontinued, maybe 100 years ago, it was worth almost nothing. Many years later I gave $725 for it, but if it were not for the 26 repairs, I wouldn’t have wanted it. The older it gets, the more valuable it becomes.
Well, I’m about half that beautiful thing’s age. I’ve suffered a few breaks, and had some repairs here and there. Although my rust is not showing, it’s there nonetheless. Nobody has ever said I’m getting more valuable as I move farther into oldenhood, but I’m still listening. f