When we are following the recovery of a building there are constant surprises . Sometimes we encounter true museum findings when we least expect, which are objects, waiting for decades for someone to notice them. But for this to happen we must take a critical and open perspective towards the objects that are part of the skeleton of these buildings. Sanitary ware … which of you wouldn’t remember to replace existing parts of a house old bath with new ones, more updated, with all the eco and automatic systems top of the range that make us proud of XXI century modernity. Well, it is this willingness to want to understand the memories and the stories behind the objects, and buildings, which led us to discover sanitary ware with nearly a century of history. Copies that may have been lost forever… copies of the extinct Sacavém Crockery Factory.
The plant would have been established in 1850 by Manuel Joaquim Afonso, who around 1861, for financial reasons, found himself in need of selling it to an Englishman, John Stott Howorth , who introduced new production techniques originated in the United Kingdom. In a few years became one of the most important factories in Portugal in the field of ceramic production. In 1893 the widow of the English, Baroness Howorth Sacavem ( title awarded by King D.Luis I), established a partnership with James Gilman who runs the factory until 1909 , standing alone in front of the factory, after the death of the Baroness .
The seal represented in the image 01, is from that period of management transition, and help us in the dating process.
The Sacavém Crockery Factory would end in 1983, off bankruptcy after troubled labor and financial period. Its pieces represent however the cultural and social history of Portugal, having been one of the biggest factories of ceramic production ever existed.
The discovery of this set of bathroom equipment (standing sink, bidet, toilet and water tank), reminds us that rehabilitation involves first of all the reading of existing virtues, plus understanding them and plan how to maintain, or adapt them to the needs of the present time. At the end of the work we will be keen to share the compromise reached!