Share your favorites on Show & Tell

Gold side sink

In Tools and Hardware > Architectural Antiques > Show & Tell.
Rosyjen's loves1 of 1
Love it
Like it

clockermanclockerman loves this.
JEllingtonJEllington loves this.
kwqdkwqd loves this.
rhineisfinerhineisfine loves this.
RosyjenRosyjen loves this.
Vynil33rpmVynil33rpm loves this.
AnythingObscureAnythingObscure loves this.
auraaura loves this.
fortapachefortapache loves this.
dav2no1dav2no1 loves this.
vetraio50vetraio50 loves this.
WatchsearcherWatchsearcher loves this.
See 10 more
Add to collection

    Please create an account, or Log in here

    If you don't have an account, create one here.

    Create a Show & TellReport as inappropriate

    Posted 6 months ago

    (5 items)

    I have a side sink that I’ve never seen before. Any one ever seen one like this before ? Vintage ? Antique?

    Unsolved Mystery

    Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.

    Architectural Antiques
    See all
    1 Pair of RESTORED Antique Glass Door Knobs + Ready to Install - Many Available!
    1 Pair of RESTORED Antique Glass Do...
    Vintage wall hook Sun Celestial Greek god Antique Key Hanger Mid Century Modern
    Vintage wall hook Sun Celestial Gre...
    Orig Mid-Century Verdigris Bronze Paolo Soleri Arconsanti Wind Chime Windbell
    Orig Mid-Century Verdigris Bronze P...
    Orig Mid-Century Paolo Soleri Arconsanti Verdigris Bronze Wind Chime Windbell
    Orig Mid-Century Paolo Soleri Arcon...
    1 Pair of RESTORED Antique Glass Door Knobs + Ready to Install - Many Available!
    1 Pair of RESTORED Antique Glass Do...
    See all


    1. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 6 months ago
      I’ve never seen one either but I really like it!
    2. fortapache fortapache, 6 months ago
      I think it is pretty cool. I am thinking vintage as sinks have been made with cabinets underneath for decades.
    3. keramikos, 6 months ago
      EWC, Wow.

      I've seen modern sinks designed for narrow spaces, but I have never seen a sink quite like that before.

      The term "Inca gold" seems like a bit of a red herring, in that the most popular Internet hits for it with regard to sinks is some kind of marble, or marble composite.

      I suspect that in this case, it's merely a name for the color of this (porcelain or porcelain enamel coated iron?) sink.

      This seems vintage at least, considering that the area below the handles with the pattern of raised bumps is designed to accommodate bar soap.

      I suppose it could be as new as the 1960s/1970s, because the color of it would fit in very well with the earth tone palette that were popular then (e.g., Harvest Gold, Burnt Orange, Avocado Green, and Coppertone Brown).

      I can't quite make out all the letters in that little elliptical cartouche (clockwise from the top, it looks like "M W D ? ?"). That seems like it could be a makers mark, and a significant clue in identifying this sink.
    4. AnythingObscure AnythingObscure, 6 months ago
      It IS a most curious (and attractive!) design. Agree with keramikos that the label under its color (?) label is likely a maker's mark, we need to see that more clearly please?! Are you (it) located in the USA, somehow it has a European look to me??
    5. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 6 months ago
      I thought European also, but possibly South American with a name called Inca Gold.
      Wherever it’s from, I would love to have it in a bathroom….but I’d have to build another bathroom just for it!
    6. Celiene Celiene, 6 months ago
      I've never seen any like it either! Please take a better pic of the label, or tell us what it says. Is it vitreous China or enamel on steel? I'm wondering if it was a prototype or a special order? I'm assuming it's in a home bathroom?
    7. JEllington, 6 months ago
      Twyfords Barbican Basin, 1960’s designed for tight spaced water closets in England I believe.
    8. keramikos, 5 months ago
      JEllington, You nailed it! :-)


      Text of the news item "Barbican Basin - The award-winning handrinse basin specially designed for the Barbican development in London is now available for the domestic market. It is 16in high and 20in wide and has a toilet roll holder beneath the soap tray. Colours are white, blue, pink, primrose, turquoise and pampas and fittings are either gold-or chrome-plated. Made by Twyfords Ltd, PO Box 23, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 7AL and Africa House, Kingsway, London WC2, 0782 23411 and 01-405 8606, price £25 in white and £29.20 in colour"

      The Barbican won design awards and was regarded at the time as a benchmark product. It has been used in applications as varied as railway carriage toilets and MacDonalds restaurants.


      Apparently, they continued making it until the early 1980s:


      Twyfords Barbican 14008 basin Michael Hohmann Chamberlin Powell LDC award

      One of the last few made stamped 1st June1983 No 4802. Removed carefully and in superb condition, taps and spray work. It has been left attatched to the wooden battens to assist re-fitting. Comes complete with the chrome waste and full fitting / maintenance instructions. Measurements. Length 20 inches Height 16 inches Projection from wall 6 inches Recess into wall 2.5 inches

      This is what the V & A museum had to say about it.The 'Barbican' hand rinse basin (model 14008) was designed by Michael Hohmann in conjunction with architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bonn, for the residential flats in the Barbican. It won the Design Centre Award in 1966. The minimum-projection basin was designed for the Barbican because no square basin to fit with the wall tiles was available. Hohmann worked for Chamberlin, Powell and Bonn architects from 1961 to 1969, and was in charge of detail design for the Barbican's residential buildings.Manufactured by Twyfords from Ceramant vitreous ceramic with a square form, the 'Barbican' hand rinse basin was designed to be recessed into the wall. It featured concealed supply pipes, a soap dish with large dimples, and a toilet roll holder underneath the soap dish. Water was discharged as a fine spray through a hot and cold mixer fitting. The 'Barbican' hand rinse basin was available with fittings on the left or right, and in white or Twyfords' five standard colours.

    9. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 5 months ago
      I love the “Monument to Excrement” and the “Deluge” models but they wouldn’t go with my current decor, sadly.
    10. rhineisfine rhineisfine, 5 months ago
      What an appealing little sink! The design is very satisfying, and the colour is handsome.
      I've seen some very tiny British lavatories, so I can easily imagine something like this juuust fitting inside! Love the pebbled "soap dish" area, too. I imagine it's a pleasure to use. Thank you for sharing this.
    11. keramikos, 5 months ago
      I was a bit too hasty earlier. There is a whole website dedicated to the Barbican Basin:

      A little mood music:


      Unit 4 + 2 is seen performing the hit '60s pop single 'Concrete and Clay' on the construction site of the Barbican in London in 1965. Pathé Pictorial uses the setting as a literal interpretation of the song - concrete and clay - get it?

    12. Onedtent, 5 months ago
      My parents built a house in 1972/3 in South Africa. My mother deliberately chose a sink like this for the guest toilet as a space saver. The builder, never having seen one before, managed to install it upside down! I have seen a few since then but they are not common.
    13. EWC EWC, 5 months ago
      Thank you everyone for your comments I just realised the toilet has a similar sticker and believe it could be of matching piece. Thank you for your searches and identifying that it is a barbican side sink. I believe from reading this colour was made obsolete. I will post pics of the matching toilet . I think it could of been purchased at the same time.
    14. keramikos, 5 months ago
      Onedtent, Wow, what a story.

      I mean, sure, it's an unusual sink, but upside down?
    15. keramikos, 5 months ago
      EWC, You're welcome.

      About the colors:


      The basin was initially offered in left and right handed versions and only in white. Later in 1972, for wider commercial sales, five standard colours were introduced: shell pink, sky blue, primrose yellow, pampas and turquoise. Avocado wasn't introduced until 1975 and then later during the early 1980's the basin was produced in a variety of new colours which were introduced by Twyfords who were leading the way in introducing colour to the bathroom.


      So far, the only pertinent mention I've been able to find of "Inca Gold" was that eBay listing for a Fowler Ware toilet seat that I linked in your companion post:
    16. Gillian, 5 months ago
      Thank you keramikos for the great research!
    17. Gillian, 5 months ago
      Eeeeeek - wrong post.
    18. EWC EWC, 5 months ago
      Thanks keramikos for awesome research n for everyone again - fantastic responses
    19. Onedtent, 5 months ago
      @Keramikos. The builder was informed of his mistake in no uncertain terms by my mother and it was very quickly rectified!

    20. keramikos, 5 months ago
      Onedtent, I can imagine your mother not being well pleased. };-)
    21. keramikos, 5 months ago
      EWC, You're welcome, but kudos to JEllington for identifying the original maker and name (Twyfords Barbican Basin).

      Still no joy on that distinctive makers mark with the crown surrounded by the letters M, W, S, D, and B.

      Here are some historical Twyford makers marks, among other things:

      As to the Twyford colors:

      I'm leaning towards "Inca Gold" being a Fowler Ware invention.
    22. keramikos, 5 months ago
      Oops, I should link this one as well, as it has some Twyford colors that go way back, as well as a great picture of a Twyfords Barbican Basin installation:

    23. JEllington, 5 months ago
      I believe the reason the sink was commissioned was because at the time you could have a small water closet with only a toilet and during either construction or just before a code was passed that there had to be a sink in with every toilet and I assume it was cheaper to design a new sink than change every guest bathroom.
    24. keramikos, 5 months ago
      JEllington, Yep, that got a mention:


      The architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon were equally involved with the finer details of the fixtures and fittings in the flats, as they were with the interior layout of the scheme. In 1961 new housing standards were introduced which required a hand basin in any WC that was separate from the bathroom. The new regulations created a concern over the limited space within the flats and it was decided that a bespoke, space saving, compact washbasin was required. Chamberlin, Powell and Bon discussed the basic principles of the concept which led to a design brief being passed to German trained architect, Michael Hohmann.

      The Barbican handrinse basin was designed by Michael Hohmann in the early 1960's. Hohmann visited Twyfords Cliffe Vale factory and presented a range of designs that were required for the Barbican Estate. These included a countertop washbasin, space saving handrinse basin, urinal and wall hung wc.

      The ideas were presented in a conceptual, sketchy 'back of the envelope' format, however Hohmann was very clear and precise in what he wanted as a final product. Twyfords experts discussed the concepts and due to the requirement for straight edges, it was suggested that the washbasins would be more suitable in white enamelled steel. Hohmann insisted Twyfords applied their expertise to the challenge because he required the whole range to be in the same white vitreous china material.

      Munroe Blair, then Twyfords young designer with an architectural training background, translated the sketch proposals into working drawings. Hohmann was very pleased with the full size drawings which were used by the modeller to produce a full size plaster model of the Barbican handrinse basin.

      The architects then required fired samples to be installed within a full size bathroom mock up. The samples were cast, fitted and approved, thus securing the huge contract order for the Barbican Estate.


      I'm in your debt for chiming in with the initial Twyfords Barbican Basin mention. Previously, I knew nothing about it. :-)

    Want to post a comment?

    Create an account or login in order to post a comment.