Jug with transfer decoration and unusual metal handle, c.1880

May 9th, 2021

This sturdy transferware jug was made by Cork, Edge & Malkin of Burslem, England, as part of the Italy series. The red transfer design was registered on September 29, 1879. Jug stands 5.5 inches high and is stamped on the underside: “TRADE MARK, E.M & CO. B, ITALY.”

Although the durable earthenware seems likely to have withstood much wear and tear, somehow the handle became detached well over 100 years ago. To bring the jug back to life, a tinker created an unusual replacement handle using crimped tin and wire. By carefully attaching bands at the top and bottom, the handle was secured without drilling through the body, which might have resulted in further damage. Much thanks to the anonymous tinker who made this otherwise innocuous jug unique.

This jug with similar form and decoration shows what the original loop handle on my jug might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of Replacements, Ltd.

Gilt glass trumpet vase with brass base, c.1960s?

April 25th, 2021

This one is a bit of a mystery. Although the vase looks like it dates from the first quarter of the 20th century, I believe it is actually from the 1960s. Here’s what I do know…this frosted glass trumpet-form vase with gilt & high enamel floral decoration in yellow, pink, blue, green, white, and 24k gold was made in Bohemian, Czech, possibly by The Egermann Company. It stands 10 inches high, with 6 inch diameter opening. It was given to me by John Koch, proprietor of his eponymous New York City shop, John Koch Antiques. John loves a good make-do and has been generous in supplying me with them over the years.

But the real reason you are reading about this vase it due to its replacement base, which looks like a brass plunger cup. It seems like something repurposed, rather than made specifically as a replacement. I will continue to dig deep and try to find out what this brass whatchamacallit really is. And if anyone knows, please share your information with me and your fellow readers.



Mandarin decorated teapot with metal spout, c.1760

April 17th, 2021

This globular porcelain teapot from the middle Qianlong period (1735–96) has a Mandarin family scene decorated on both sides with polychrome and gilt enamels. It was made in China and measures 5.25 inches high, 7.75 inches from handle to spout. The lid, which appears to be the proper form for this teapot, is actually from another tea service and has been married to the pot.

At some point in the teapots early life, the original porcelain spout broke off and a silver replacement was attached. I own many and have seen dozens of other replacement spouts with identical shapes including the scalloped back plate. I believe they were made in bulk and stocked by jewelers who were ready to grind down broken spout remains and snap on the replacements. One day I will publish a posting showing all of the similar silver spouts.

This teapot, with similar form and decoration, suggests what the original spout on mine would have looked like.

Photo courtesy of Rob Michiels Auctions

French faïence cider jug with metal handle & spout, c.1745

April 11th, 2021

I bought this footed earthenware bulbous body jug at auction last year and although I didn’t know much about it, I knew it would be a great addition to my collection. Made from tin glazed redware pottery and decorated with flowers & scrollwork in white, blue, green, yellow, and rust glazes, it stands 8.75 inches high. I believe it was made in Rouen, France, c.1740-50.

Looks like this jug took a tumble quite a while ago. Rather than toss the jug out with the bathwater, it was brought to a handy metalsmith who fashioned an unusual metal spout/collar/ribbed handle combo. Although the appearance has been drastically altered by the metal addition, the jug is able to function again. I much prefer the look of this make-do jug over its “perfect” counterpart, but that’s just my opinion.

This jug with similar form suggests what the original handle and spout on my jug might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of WorthPoint

Stapled bowl with birds & insects, c.1830

April 4th, 2021

This Meissen style porcelain bowl with scalloped edge is hand decorated with a large bird at center surrounded by insects and finished with a delicate gilt border. It measures 5.5 inches in diameter. Although unsigned, it was most likely made in Germany, c.1830.

Long ago the bowl slipped from the hands of someone who might have been clearing the table or washing up after a meal. As a result of the mishap, the bowl, now in 2 pieces, was brought to a “china mender” for repair. With the addition of 12 carefully placed metal staples, the bowl was brought back to life and able to function once again on the dinner table.

Kintsugi: The Poetic Mend

March 21st, 2021

Kintsugi: The Poetic Mend by Bonnie Kemske has just been published and I am sure that anyone who enjoys my blog will enjoy reading this well written and informative book. It’s beautifully printed, with extensive colorful photos and historical information. There is even a section showing the step-by-step kintsugi process, which is fascinating.

I am pleased to have a ceramic plate with my own kintsugi repair featured in the first chapter, Cracks Made Whole In a Golden Repair.

Click on this link to see more photos and information of the plate: Kintsugi repair, at last!

…as well as another plate that I repaired: Family platter with kintsugi gold repair


Tiny cut glass cordial with metal base, c.1820

March 14th, 2021

I’m a big fan of early repairs which drastically change the overall appearance of the piece. This tiny cut glass cordial, nearly 4.5 inches high, had a matching glass base which must have broken off over 150 years ago. Since there was no way to effectively repair the detached glass base, a tinker had to create a metal replacement. I assume the owner who had the repair done was thrilled to have a functioning cordial again, even though it must have stuck out like a sore thumb among the other “perfect” ones in the set.

Perhaps the original base on my cordial glass was faceted like this example. We will never know.

Photo courtesy of Corning Museum of Glass

Blue mocha ware mug, c.1840

March 6th, 2021

This cylindrical form mug was made in England around 1840. It is decorated with a blue field and thin dark brown bands on a cream ground. “IMPERIAL QUART” is printed in black transfer on the front. Mug measures 6 inches high with a diameter of 4.5 inches.

I’d like to imagine that the mug lost its handle as it was flung across the room during a heated bar brawl. Luckily, a clever tinsmith fashioned a replacement handle and attached it to the mug using 3 horizontal bands. I guess that after the mug was repaired it was involved in another bar brawl, as the bottom band is now missing.

This mocha mug with a similar form and from the same time period maintains its original handle.

Photo courtesy of 1stDibs

Coconut cup with metal handle, c.1900

February 27th, 2021

This hollowed-out coconut shell became a cup by the addition of a metal handle. As neither the shell nor the handle – which appears to have been made from a spoon – are marked, it’s hard to tell much about it. It measures 4 inches high, 5.5 inches wide. I believe it dates from around 1900.

If anyone knows more about this intriguing piece, please let me know.

Here’s an example of a coconut shell with hallmarked silver mounts used as a sugar bowl.

Photo courtesy of Wax Antiques

Small lobed teapot with metal spout & handle, c.1710

February 21st, 2021

This small lobed porcelain teapot, appears to have been made in China during the late Kangxi period (1662-1722.) It measure 4.25 inches high, 6.25 inches wide handle to spout and is decorated in the Japanese Imari palette of blue, red, gilt on white.

I love a double repair and this one delivers on both counts. We will never know if the replacement handle and spout were added at the same time or separately. The sturdy bronze replacement handle is tightly wrapped in rattan for insulation from the hot teapot contents. The metal replacement spout is more humble but allowed the tea to flow once again.

This teapot, with similar form and decoration, has all of its original parts intact. But I still like mine, with its added character, better.

Photo courtesy of Live Auctioneers