Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Really High Class Olympus Roman Soaker Tub from Sign of the Crab

In 1988, J. L. Mott Iron Works published an illustrated catalog of Victorian plumbing fixtures.  According to the company, the products in the catalog were designed "to meet the growing demand for really high class goods, goods not only desirable from a sanitary point of view, but really artistic and beautiful to look upon, and fully up to the present high standard of the inside fittings and interior decorations of our modern houses and public buildings."  One of these "really high class goods" was a bathtub called the Imperial Porcelain Roman Bath.  We at Shop 4 Classics found this bathtub to be "really artistic and beautiful to look upon", just as described by J. L. Mott.  We suggested the tub to our friends at Sign of the Crab.  Sign of the Crab offers many innovative soaking tubs and was the perfect candidate to recreate the Imperial Porcelain Roman Bath for today's market.  The result of our suggestion is the Sign of the Crab Olympus acrylic Roman soaker tub.

The J. L. Mott Iron Works Imperial Porcelain Roman Bath was molded and glazed in one solid piece.  The manufacturer boasts that the weight of these porcelain bathtubs was "very much less than anything of the kind made hitherto".  Like its inspiration, the Sign of the Crab Olympus acrylic soaker tub is constructed to be light in weight.  Sign of the Crab describes the Olympus acrylic bathtub as being "crafted from durable, premium quality acrylic for an exquisite bathing experience".

J. L. Mott designates the Imperial Porcelain Roman Bath as a "Roman" bathtub because it has the faucet and drain on the side of the tub rather than the end of the tub (which is called a "French" bathtub).  Like the Imperial Porcelain Roman Bath, the Olympus acrylic soaker tub has a drain on the side of the tub.  It does not have faucet holes so the faucet can be placed anywhere around the perimeter of the tub but would normally be installed on the side centered with the drain.  J. L. Mott predicted in 1888 that the Roman style bathtubs would become the standard because "it does away with the exposure of the pipes and fittings".  Because the plumbing is on the side of the tub, it is normally hidden from view.  Now 125 years later, "pipes and fittings" are generally hidden from view, just as J. L. Mott predicted, but it is plumbed in behind a finished wall.  Built-in tubs with in-wall faucets and showers are the modern standard for new construction.

Light weight tubs aren't unique.  Shop 4 Classics offers a wide selection of light acrylic clawfoot tubs.  Tubs with faucets and drains on the side aren't unique either.  Today, we usually call them double-ended bathtubs or dual bathtubs rather than Roman bathtubs.  Shop 4 Classics offers many different double-ended bathtubs.  The thing that we found special about the J. L. Mott Iron Works Imperial Porcelain Roman Bath was that it sat on two bases rather than on four feet.  The Olympus acrylic soaker tub rests on two bases similar to its predecessor.  It is these two bases that make the Olympus acrylic Roman bathtub like no other tub currently available.  One might even say that the Sign of the Crab Olympus acrylic Roman soaker tub is a perfect example of "really high class goods" that is "really artistic and beautiful to look upon".

Sign of the Crab Olympus Acrylic Roman Soaking Bathtub


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