Fold-up sinks are hard to find as most of the really nice ones did not survive the demolition of the ships and rail coaches in which they were originally installed. This is one of the good ones–and it comes with an even better story.
When LooLoo bought the sink (from a fellow from Vermont) there was a tag attached that says in part “…originally came from S. W. Webb that was on his old boat.” The tag also references Burlington, VT, and a search on Dr. William Seward Webb turns up some very important facts. First, he was married to a daughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt. Second, beginning in 1886 he and Eliza contracted William Law Olmstead (of Central Park Fame) to create Shelburne Farm on the shores of Lake Champlain. Third, his principle business was railroads. And as a topper, he was President of the Palace Car Company, a business that made the early custom railway cars.
So it is highly probably that this sink was indeed part of the life Dr. Webb and his influential and creative wife. The quality is outstanding, with a fitted case of cherry wood, a beautiful porcelain bowl and soap dish, and nickel plated fittings. After more than 100 years it still functions without a hitch.
When closed the sink case measures 20″ x 32″ x 10″. When open, the sink extends 24″ from the wall. This is a real history piece that has stories to tell that we can only imagine.