Wastebaskets tend to be the most unsightly of household conveniences. Sure, many are disguised to blend into the decor or a room or kitchen, complete with lids and tops to prevent overflow and unpleasant aromas but in general add little to the “feng shei” or order of a room. I’ve found a solution for this dilemma; antique stone jars or particularly those made in the late 18th and mid 19th century decorated and stenciled in cobalt blue. Many of these jars are large enough to live a second life as a waste basket or even as an umbrella stand.
Throughout history these jars and crocks were used for the storage of rum, cider, butter, vinegar and even as water coolers. They were designed to hold large quantities and sturdy enough to secure them against leaks and breakage. The maker’s name and location were usually inscribed on the jar in radiant cobalt blue which helps identify the age and value of the jar. There were many manufacturers of these jars and nearly all of them were made in New England states. Some of them include designs which signify the goods that were stored in them. For example, one jar may have a corn stalk design emblazoned on it, signifying it held corn whiskey. Another may have a cow, indicating the use of butter. Whatever the design, these jars make a fine statement as both a conversation piece and a utilitarian use in the home or office. They are relatively easy to find and some are quite inexpensive depending upon make and condition.
Purchase this readily available antique and you’ll agree that these jars, while holding trash are a treasure to behold and a compliment to any room they inhabit. Replace the dull and uninteresting with a delightful relic from the past.