While in Sri Lanka, we hunted and collected a few treasured from Galle and Kandy. While in Sri Lanka; we found some rare old Antique Petrus Regout Royal Sphinx Tea Cups, some old British empire spoons, climbed Sigiriya Rock and rode an Asian elephant.
The bowl looks like a small tea bowl or waste bowl; called spongeware. It has crescent moon and star inside. This particular piece of Spongeware was made for the Middle East, a tea bowl made from c.1883 to 1900.
It seems British and Dutch Empires were expansive with many diverse cultures serving in these Empire expeditions including the many religions who were Islam, Buddhist and Christian. As a result many types of pottery were made to serve these cultures during the colonisation of these empires.
Galle is a city on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka. It is known for Galle Fort, the fortified old city founded by Portuguese colonists in the 16th century. Stone sea walls, expanded by the Dutch, with architecture reflecting Portuguese, Dutch and British rule.
Ceylon was the country’s name then, known now as Sri Lanka. A British Crown colony between 1802 and 1948; a Buddhist nation but with a growing population of the Islamic people. The British ruled on the island and it lasted until 1948 when Ceylon gained it’s independence.
This old cup, considering the distance it has traveled and the age it is; it is amazingly in good condition and it remarkable it has survived. This bowl has fork marks. There is a small chip on the rim; but no cracks. There is crazing.
Most of the painting is still brilliant and on the outside and clear with the red crescent moon and star on white background inside. Glaze is good.
The Royal Sphinx stamp mark is clear on the base; Petrus Regout & Co. Maastricht Made In Holland.
Petrus Regout, in Maastricht, Holland. In 1836 Regout built a modern steam-powered pottery and was soon able to make ceramics that could compete with the best English products.
From 1880, his exports took off worldwide. From order books and correspondence with agents and buyers in the firm’s extensive archives, Petrus Regout sold these wares in Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, Iran, British India and Indonesia.
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What Is Spongeware?
Traditionally spongeware was created on earthenware, which is defined as “some of the earliest clays used by potters, which is highly plastic, easily worked and containing iron and other mineral impurities.” Earthenware is usually fired at a lower temperature than stoneware, roughly 1745°F and 2012°F (950°C and 1100°C).
The earthenware provided a great base for the decorative spongeware to adhere to. Spongeware pieces are typically very functional, often things like mugs, bowls, vases and pitchers for use in the kitchen. For this reason, many pieces were made in molds. Once the piece was ready, a glaze was then applied to the surface piece in sporadic or in a deliberate fashion, dependent on what look the potter was going for.