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Other Items in my collection - Non Tonbridge.

Bear Grease pot lid A small ceramic lid from a jar that once contained bear’s grease

The colorful decorated lid depicts a crowd of Victorians at a traveling zoo or circus watching a family-oriented Victorian pastime of baiting a bear in captivity.


Bear's grease was a popular treatment for men with hair loss the myth of its effectiveness is based on a belief that as bears are very hairy, their fat would assist hair growth in others.


Bear's grease was made from the fat of the brown bear mixed with beef marrow and perfume herbs to disguise the smell. A sweet smelling waxy substance similar to hair gel used by both ladies & gentlemen as pomade to the hair a fashion in the 1840s and 1850s.

Publications Magazines & guides from that era also promised that bear’s grease would actually help the hair grow and was a cure for baldness and head sores.

The general public believed that grease from Russian bears was the best available.

Around the start of the twentieth century, manufacturers were substituting pig, veal, suet, lard and beef marrow fat for bear's fat as demand exceeded the available supply of genuine bear's fat. To these substitutes they added lavender, thyme, rose essence or oil of bitter almonds for perfume. A green dye was added for the sake of appearances.

It was speculated that 99% of "bear grease" actually contained pig fat, and that unscrupulous manufacturers would keep a bear skin which they would occasionally attach to a dead pig carcass. The purpose of this carcass was just for display to convince their customers that they sold genuine bear grease.


The base was just a small ceramic shallow container like today’s face creams mostly plain white, but occasionally decorative ones can be found. Pot lids a standard product of British potteries in the 1830s with colored lids or black & white printed bear subjects were almost entirely used to sell bear’s grease they ceased to be significantly used around 1880 but pomades continued until the early twentieth century.

A lovely bright vibrant tea set of Knole House Sevenoaks

Knole House is an English grade 1 listed country house in west Kent Sevenoaks with 1,000-acre surrounding Deer park which the house is situated inside. The House which had 365 rooms, 52 staircases, 12 entrances and 7 courtyards. Had been suggested as being a Possible Calendar House


A Calendar House is a house that symbolically contains architectural elements in quantities that represent the respective numbers of days in a year, weeks in a year, months in a year and days in a week.  

The oldest parts of the house were built by Thomas Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury, between 1456 and 1486 and have changed hand many times since. For more information visit the National Trust link click on picture above.  

Because each piece was individually painted and sometimes not always all by the same painter on the production line you find variations in colors and missing parts such as the above - person laying down and shadows under the tree.   


Curtis & Co 48 Baker Street London Inhaler Registered 1861  

Nice Rare early ceramic inhaler

Around the mid 19th century various methods were invented for the inhalation of medications through steam. One such device for inhalation was this very rare Curtis & Co 48 Baker Street London Inhaler Registered 1861.



Although one of the first ceramic inhalers for Cutis and co it was not to be the most productive. The Inhaler that was to take off and stand the test of time was the inhaler invented by Dr Nelson between 1861 and 1865.

The directions for use of the Nelsons are as follows:

For the inhalation of the vapors of Hot Water the water should be Boiling and the Inhaler not more than half filled.
When infusions are required the ingredients should be placed in the Inhaler and Boiling Water poured upon them.
Volatile and other liquids should be added to the Boiling Water the patient inhales the steam directly as it emerges from the glass funnel.

Nelson type was one of the most popular and was still very commonly used well into the twentieth century and could be purchased from most local chemists.

The Harden Star Hand Grenade "Fire Extinguisher"

 "If the fire doesn’t get you the extinguisher will"

The glass fire grenades originated in England around the late 18th century, these where made from a thin fragile glass and where designed to be thrown at the base of the fire to break and extinguish the fire.

All kinds of fluids have been used in the grenades the most effective were found to be carbon tetrachloride and can still be found in early types. However it was discovered that carbon tetrachloride was actually very harmful if inhaled and can cause respiratory problems, these where replaced with salt water.

WARNING to Collectors or anyone that may find one

Tetrachloride chemical is a highly toxic chemical and could enter the body through the skin and inhalation causing damage to lungs, kidney and liver.

Beware if you have a Sealed one in your collection it could be potentially lethal, Cement was also used around the cork to avoid vapor leakage. 

It was around the 1880s The Harden Star Hand Grenade Fire Extinguisher became the most popular. Many of these small grenades had a wire loop around the neck for easy hanging in the home or work place others came in a in a wire basket designed to hold two of three.