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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 March 2006, 13:43 GMT
Rare antique shower-bath for sale
1930s canopy bath
Glass panels would have framed the 1930s cast iron canopy bath
An antique example of a power shower, in the days when most people still had their toilet in the garden, goes under an auctioneer's hammer on Wednesday.

The 1930s cast iron canopy bath was found at a country house near Llanidloes in mid Wales.

The frame, originally covered in glass, would have delivered five horizontal jets of water, and been the height of bath time luxury for the well-to-do.

Auctioneers Halls, of Shrewsbury, expect the canopy bath to raise 4,000.

Period sanitary ware expert Simon Kirby, of Thomas Crapper and Co, said: "They are much rarer than normal baths."

He estimated the canopy bath was a 1920s design but made in the 1930s as the canopy was chrome-plated, a process not perfected until 1929.

It's one of those things that is an example of what you could have at time, if you could afford it
Simon Kirby

"Even in the 1920s, the majority of people had outside loos and no running water, so it still would have been quite a flash."

The bath has a glazed shower head on a plated central arm above the five shower hoops.

The hoops are controlled by taps titled 'shower, spray, plunge, hot and cold' with a handle on the side for the plug.

Water pressure

Mr Kirby added: "It's one of those things that is an example of what you could have at time, if you could afford it. It was a status symbol to own such a luxurious thing."

The very first examples, from the 1880s, went on sale for 100, he said.

"They would have been in the smarter hotels and in big private houses.

"Unfortunately an awful lot were scrapped, thrown away, along with lot of other antiques from the 30s to the 60s."

He said it would be possible to replace the missing glass with modern panels if the buyer wanted to add a working example of vintage glamour to their bathroom.

"It would need reasonable water pressure, but not incredibly high pressure.

"Certainly some sort of pump on the hot water to bring it up the same pressure as the cold."

The canopy bath is lot 276 in the auction at Halls' Welsh Bridge saleroom in Shrewsbury on Wednesday.

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