We normally have unusual Victorian era toilet bowls, tanks, complete sets, shower units, sitz baths, foot baths, and odd-ball items available. We are one of the few shops that ever has embossed ornamental toilet bowls in good condition available for sale. We think they define Victorian ornamentation in the bathroom. We will display them and other bathroom oddities in this corner of the warehouse. But, if there is something you want and you do not see it, please inquire- we might have it.
LAST UPDATED: October 20, 2017
Classic Standard Mfg. Co ribcage shower. ca.1902s. All complete on clawfoot 36" base. Price $17,000
Beautiful flawless pedestal urinal dated 1924. To be used with oak high tank or some other tank or flush mechanism. 30" tall at back, 24" at front lip, 16" long base. Price $1900
Here is a unique Body Shower, Shampoo unit that would have been on the wall above a built-in bathtub with a shower curtain over it. Body Spray U-Bar, and Shampoo control and outlet with a hook for the hand sprayer head. There is no provision for overhead shower. Very nice early look to this super rare assembly. The manufacturer, The Meyer-Sniffen Co of New York may have been the very best quality maker of plumbing goods in the USA 110 years ago. Price - $1600
A Discussion on Antique Showers
Standard Mfg Co. shower with large mixing chamber, thermometer, side sprays, and round shower receptor.
What is the deal with showers? I receive a lot inquiries about adapting a shower or at least a hand sprayer to an old rolled rim bathtub that has standing hardware. And there is no good and easy way to do it. And people ask why that is, since the shower or hand sprayer is such a vital and fundamental piece of bathing equipment. Many, many people also comment to me that the bathrooms in their pre-1930s houses, and especially Victorian or Arts & Crafts era homes, lack a shower altogether. And many of these homes are upper class houses or mansions, and even they do not have so much as one shower anywhere in the house! People cannot fathom why that is, since a shower would be the first fixture you would put in a house today, after a toilet and a sink. To provide enlightenment on the history of residential showers in America, as well as to try to explain why antique showers today have to be so doggoned expensive, I offer the following information, most of which is taken directly from an article that appeared in the Nov/Dec 1994 issue of the bible for antique home owners, the Old House Journal. The writer is Stephen del Sordo, environmental engineer and old house historian and preservationist.
It was uncommon for homes built before the 1920s to have a shower in them. For homeowners of the time, a shower was an unnecessary expense. Besides the bill for the extra plumbing fixture and installation, there was the hidden cost of constantly repairing wood wainscot and plaster, the principal wall covering in pre-World War 1 bathrooms. Only a rubber or duck-canvas curtain contained the shower spray, and that did not work real well. Even where indoor plumbing was common, such as the big cities, showers were used primarily by men, and not women. Showers had been in use in barracks, gymnasiums and bathhouses since at least the 1880s, but those places were generally inhabited by men. The shower was strongly associated therefore with athleticism and men. Women were considered the weaker sex, delicate and fragile compared to men. The streams of water were widely felt to be harmful to women. Home décor authority Charles E. White wrote in 1914 that "……some constitutions cannot stand the rigors of shower bathing, a practice which should be resorted to only under the advice of a physician." So, well up until the 1930s, most women would not consider showering, so what need was there for a shower fixture in the home? Bathing was done in the tub. But showers did have a purpose in the home for those who felt the need, and the purpose was medicinal or therapeutic. Shower sprays were believed to stimulate the action of the skin, and make some people healthier. Not until the late 20s and 30s did new ideas regarding germs and hygiene trickle into the public consciousness and begin to have an effect on how people outfitted their bathrooms.
But, there were some people who specified showers for pre-1920 homes, and those people tended to be wealthy. The showers that had the most therapeutic value were the ones that had multiple sprays that would apply jets of water to specific parts of the body. These showers were called needle showers, since the fine jets of spray would strike the kidney area, ribcage, liver or spine like fine needles. These elaborate showers were very expensive, commonly costing from $300 to about $500. By comparison, Sears and Roebucks 1910 Home Builders Catalog list its most expensive complete bathroom ensemble, tub, sink and water closet with all necessary fittings to hook up, (without shower) for $49.95.
This might help explain the rarity of antique showers today, especially the ribcage or needle showers. They were mainly only found in a very few upscale homes, the ones most likely to be remodeled or modernized as tastes changed. And then, with their elaborate brass tubing and castings construction, they were strong candidates for the scrap metal yard. Brass has always been a highly sought after commodity, so these showers did not tend to hang around once removed from their original installation. They were scrapped out for brass, and lost forever. As a result of all this, they are rare as hen's teeth now, and highly sought after by some old house people who have seen them in magazines or in old catalogs.
Original Subway Tile All Gone!
SUBWAY TILE! Sometimes we get it, but at the
moment, we have nothing available.
The faucet hole spread on a normal early tub is 3 3/8" on centers. Faucets with or without showers to fit such hole pattern are readily available in the repro marketplace. But, faucets to fit a different hole spread can be very hard to find. We sometimes have them. Shown are one with 4 1/2" spread and one with 6 1/2" spread. We usually have several original tub faucets for you purists out there. Inquire as to price.
Many people would rather have a original set of restored faucets on their antique sink than a repro set. We are here to serve those people! Several early sets of faucets are shown. The side handle faucets are known as "fuller-ball" faucets, because of the eccentric cam action and ball washer inside. We can make them work again! Inquire as to price.
We have the details you want to complete your antique bathroom restoration. Here are several very rare pull chain guides with original pull handles. The guide would keep the handle from swinging all over the place. The better toilet sets would have link rod chain and china pull. We have one at the moment. Inquire.
Original oak or other hardwood toilet pull handles are very hard to find. We usually have several to choose from. Better ones had a rubber bumper on them to protect the wall. Prices range from $90 to $155. Sometimes we have some new-old stock. Inquire.
you are trying to get an original marble sink top back to
original condition, you may need a chain stay for the chain
and drain plug. We have them, in spades! We have them simple
and fancy, including ones with a jewel cup on top and a soap
dish on top. Priced from $40 to about $200
Super Rare! ca.1900 Bidet by the Haines, Jones & Cadbery Co of Phila PA. All original with full hardware. The china bowl has some age cracking and one crack on the back rim is serious, but this fixture is so rare I had to get. There is a hinge unit for a seat, but the seat is not included. It would have to be made. SOLD
Another Best of the Best Victorian era toilet set. Never seen before tank strap brackets, and a beautiful toilet bowl. Make your bathroom a showcase. SOLD
Stunning ca1910 Standard Mfg Co. Rib Cage Needle shower all brass still wearing all original nickel plating in great condition. Big mixing chamber, thermometer, handles everywhere to run the rib sprays, kidney spray heads and large overhead pan shower. This shower is over 9 ' tall and about 39" in diameter and stands on its original round porcelain enamel finished base. SOLD
Rare and unusual round toilet tank, with perfect original lid. Beaded decoration. ca.1910. SOLD
"Fountain" by Marcel Duchamp, ca.1917. (Not Really) but a good facsimile of it. Nice wall mount urinal of the same design as the J.L. Mott Iron Works NY. R. Mutt 1917 " Fountain" artwork. *SOLD*