Antique French limestone vat
Antique French limestone vat: This one dates from the 19th century or older, and has recently been reduced in height for re-use as a planter or other garden feature. There are several available (antique AND lower-cost solid stone reproductions), hand-carved by stone cutters from a big single block. The stone block was hollowed out and the characteristic curved exterior was carved to shape. There are visible tool marks are visible, partly worn, forming an excellent patina.
In French these laundry vats are called « ponnes ». They were used in the household by « lavandières » washer-women. Apparently there would be fine wood ash mixed with the washing water to make their version of modern-day washing powder. The technique was to fill with pre-heated water before letting it out through a hole lower down (which could be fitted with a tap) to then be collected in a metal receptacle with a fire burning below it, to re-heat and pour the water in again at the top.
This one will make a splendid feature in a garden or on a terrace, or as an interior feature. It could be the ultimate ice bucket for al-fresco dining out !
- Exterior diameter : 116 cm (46 inches)
- Interior diameter : 96 cm (38 inches)
- Height : 62 cm (24.5 inches)
- Depth inside : 41 cm (16 inches)
On display at BCA’s Maine & Loire premises at L’Hôtellerie-de-Flée.