Among the recent acquisitions are two enameware basins, from their weight I would say they are preWWII, perhaps older. Medical basins are commonly found in pairs, because they sat in frame, where the 1st basin would hold carbolic and water, and the other would be for rinsing.
The chipped enamel on this bowl is not a problem, it doesn’t interfere with it’s primary function and if the exposed steel is sealed with more enamel, then it won’t even rust when washed.
Using clear enamel, such as Testor’s paint or nail polish is ideal for items which will not be exposed to heat or acidic foods. The enamel dries quick and clear and unless it is boiled or baked, it should keep the raw steel from rusting.
The paint may appear thick when applied, but will dry much thinner. So adding more coats to items which will experience more usage.
I have had some pieces treated with enamel nail polish for a few years, but i will recoat them if I think it needs it.