Godstone 'Iron Peartree' gout water bottle – £4400 at Batemans.

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One depicts a man on crutches declaring Oh the Gout. The other shows the same man standing without support and stating Drink and be well, with Iron Peartree Water near Godstone Surry inscribed below to the body.

Similar examples are to be found in a number of British and American museum collections and a few have appeared at auction.

Another is discussed by Jonathan Horne in A catalogue of English Brown Stoneware from the 17th and 18th Centuries (1985) which mentions the story of this miraculous cure-all.

A Mr Bonwick, the landlord of a Surrey inn, had a pear tree in the garden which habitually grew inedible hard small pears.

Troubled with gout, Bonwick sank a new well near the tree to avoid having to fetch water from further afield. The ale he brewed using this water cured him of the gout and was subsequently sold in London in large quantities.

This example, dated to c.1755, was offered for sale at Batemans (20% buyer’s premium inc VAT) in Stamford on August 7 with a guide of £300-500 but did rather better selling at £4400.

The buyer, a private UK collector, secured it after a few minutes of bidding on the phone.