This good quality Spode 6 piece toilet set came from a time late in the nineteenth century, when even well to do families didn’t have indoor plumbing. This set would have sat on a marble topped washstand in the bedroom, or in a small ensuite, ready for the morning ablutions. But first a maid would have filled the jug with hot water, which would then be poured into the basin. The soap sat in a covered dish with an internal drainer to let the water escape into the base and the wash cloth sat in a similar receptacle. The small vase like object is the toothbrush holder. When the occupants had finished the water was drained into the lidded bucket to be disposed of by the servants. The set probably also included one, or maybe, two chamber pots.
Sets like this were commonplace up to the start of the 20th century, and dwindling production continued into the 1920’s. Most ceramic manufacturers made them, but they also were made in enamelled metal. They would be found in homes large and small, hotels and guest houses. They came in a multitude of styles, patterns and sizes. Obviously the dearer sets were of better quality and included more pieces.
Today they can be a wonderfully decorative item in a bedroom, or the jug and basin sitting on a windowsill, full of flowers, can add a welcome dash of colour.