Archive for the ‘mug/tankard’ Category

Chinese mug with metal & rattan handle, c.1785

Friday, July 2nd, 2021

I purchased this cylindrical form porcelain mug at auction last year, along with many lots of mugs, teapots, jugs, goblets, and oil lamps. As a result of my forced hiatus from work due to the pandemic, I was able to leisurely research and catalog the 50+ new pieces to my collection. This pretty mug in the Famille Rose palette has floral swag and tassel decoration in pink, purple, green, and orange. It was made in China during the Qianlong period (1736-95) and stands 4.5 inches high.

After the handle broke off, a bronze replacement was attached by carefully drilling through the body. Although I seem to have countless replacement handles such as this in my collection, each are a little different in size, proportion, and material. I especially enjoy the patterns created by the thinly cut rattan, woven over the handle as insulation and to help form a tighter grip.

This example, with similar form and decoration, shows what the original handle on my mug would have looked like before it took a tumble.

Photo courtesy of Ruby Lane

Barroom brawl survivor, c.1880

Sunday, June 20th, 2021

I’d like to imagine that this pewter tankard lost its original handle during a rowdy barroom brawl, sometime in the late 1800s. How else would you explain the sturdy metal handle becoming detached? One can only imagine the scenario of punching fists, smashed chairs, and flying drinking vessels. This survivor was most likely made in England at the end of the 19th century and measures 6.75 inches high with an opening of 3.75 inches. It has an engraved monogram of “DAO.”

After the broken tankard was picked up off of the barroom floor, it was was fitted with a thin metal replacement handle with thumb rest. Though diminutive in scale, the new handle does the trick in allowing the ale to be served again. This time men, please be more careful and leave the drinkware alone.

Photo courtesy of Invaluable

This example suggests what the original handle on my tankard might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of Ruby Lane

Blue mocha ware mug, c.1840

Saturday, 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

Saturday, 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

Mandarin mug with metal handle, c.1760

Sunday, December 6th, 2020

This porcelain bell-shaped footed mug with Mandarin decoration stands 6 inches high. It was made in China during the Qianlong period for export overseas. The polychrome and gilt Famille Rose decoration depicts 2 figures in a garden – one with a pole and basket and the other holding a plate of fruit, as well as garlands of flowers, trees and rocks.

Long ago, after the original handle broke off, a tinker or an itinerant repairer fashioned a bronze replacement. There are 2 patches of woven rattan, which suggests the the entire handle was originally covered in rattan.

This intact example suggests what the original handle on my mug might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of Catherine Hunt Antiques

Small mug with Imari decoration, c.1730

Sunday, September 13th, 2020

This small but sturdy porcelain bell (aka baluster) form mug is decorated with flowers in the Imari palette of red, blue, and gilt on a white ground. It was made in China for export, most likely to Europe and North America, around 1730. It stands 4 inches high.

Sometime in the 18th/19th century, this mug took a tumble, resulting in a broken handle. Rather than tossing it out, it was taken to a tinker who fashioned a bronze replacement handle. Most often metal handles on teapots, cups, and mugs were wrapped with rattan for insulation and comfort but this handle remains bare.

This small mug with similar form and decoration suggests what the original handle on my mug might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood

Milch glass mug, c.1780

Sunday, February 23rd, 2020

When I first saw this 18th century German Milch glass mug, I though that the hand painted scene of a distinguished gentleman and lovely lady fabric shopping was quaint.

Then it dawned on me that they would have been a contemporary couple, wearing outfits from when the mug was made. 

So, imagine that if a mug was made today showing a contemporary couple shopping for fabric, the image would look something like this…

Right?! Now, you may wonder why this mug is even included here. Well, if you turn the mug around…

…you will find 16 metal staples holding the broken pieces together. As if drilling into delicate porcelain isn’t impressive enough, stapled glass is just mind boggling, don’t you think?

Mocha ware mug with marbled decoration, c.1800

Sunday, August 11th, 2019

This unusual mocha ware mug with slip marbled decoration against a banded background of brown and yellow slip is the 4th piece I bought at auction from the collection of Jonathan Rickard, renowned mocha ware expert and author of Mocha and Related Dipped Wares, 1770-1939. Says Jonathan: “The very rough mug that defies categorization was found at the Connecticut Spring Antiques Show…about three years ago.” It stands 5 inches high and was made in England, c.1800.

It was not unusual for damaged mugs such as this to be resurrected by local tinsmiths. This one boasts a simple metal replacement handle and two horizontal bands. Thank you Jonathan for your devotion, thorough research, and love of all things mocha.

Chinese mug with double handle, c.1770

Sunday, May 5th, 2019

This Chinese porcelain cylindrical mug with chips, cracks, and a missing handle survived many a battle over the past 250 years, as is evident by its multiple scars. It was made during the Qianlong Period (1736-96) and measures 5 inches high, 9 inches wide from handle to handle. The delicate decoration, including three oval cartouches with flowers and figures in a port scene, is hand painted in the Rose Mandarin palette using pink, blue, green, orange, and brown enamels.

It seems many years ago a tinker took pity upon the poor broken mug and brought it back to life by fashioning not one but two metal replacement handles. Supported by horizontal and vertical support bands, the handles have the remains of the rattan supports and woven rattan coverings. This just proves that although you may be old, wounded, and weary, you may still be able to live a long life with dignity.

This mug, of similar form and decoration, shows what the original handle on mine might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of Bukowskis


Mocha ware mug with marbled and combed slip, c.1780

Sunday, July 15th, 2018

This wonderfully graphic mug was made in England in the late 1700s. It is decorated with marbled and combed slip in shades of brown, tan, and cream, reminiscent of French marbled paper. It stands 5 inches high and has an opening diameter of 3.25 inches. The metal replacement handle, most likely made by an itinerant metalsmith in the 19th century, has developed a warm patina over the past 150+ years, which compliments the decoration nicely.

I purchased this mug at auction, along with a few other pieces, which were originally in the collection of Jonathan Rickard, renowned mocha ware expert and author of Mocha and Related Dipped Wares, 1770-1939. He says of this mug “The marbled & combed mug came from a British dealer and it originated around 1775-1782 based on wastes from the William Greatbatch excavation.” Thank you Jonathan for your devotion, thorough research, and love of all things mocha.

This mug, with similar form and decoration, suggest what the original handle on mine might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of Skinner