Of course, those old bowls had no connection to inside plumbing. In contrast to that, the present day vessel sink can receive water from the home’s central water system. It has a small faucet that allows water to flow into the vanity’s bowl.
What is that bowl like? Is it a painted, ceramic piece, like the item used in bedrooms over two hundred years ago? Sometimes it is painted, and sometimes it is a ceramic piece. However, that same vessel can be made of glass, bronze, aluminum or nickel. Moreover, it does not have to be the same shape as a conventional bowl. It might resemble a square, an oval or a rectangle. Some vessels even look like a large leaf.
What stands underneath such a vessel? Is it a regular piece of furniture, such as what was used many years ago? No, it is a special kind of stand, one that allows water to drain from the container on its surface. The water drains into the home’s sewage system.
So how big is this stand? Well, that depends on the materials used to create it. Some stands occupy a small amount of space. They are just rods of iron, rods that form a type of support. Other stands take up more space. Some are made of wood, while others have been hewn from granite. A stand made of granite has been blessed with the “perfect” top, because it can handle any water that might fall on its surface. Other stands, especially those made of wood need to have a stone countertop.
Now that stone countertop must have two holes in it. One hole for the pipe that will carry water up to the vessel’s faucet, and one for the drain at the bottom of that container. The pipes going to or from those holes are disguised in a unique way, so that they do not detract from the elegant appearance of this modern day vanity.
So in the future, when young tourists pass through the Betsy Ross house or Mount Vernon and see a ceramic bowl in a bedroom, they might experience a combination of recognition and confusion. They may realize the function of that object, but they will wonder why the old style vessel sinks vanities lacked any type of faucet.