Archive for the ‘mug/tankard’ Category

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

Mocha ware mug with seaweed & rouletted decoration, c.1800

Sunday, April 29th, 2018

This mocha ware mug was made in England, c.1800. It is lavishly decorated with two bands of brown slip, “seaweed” decoration, and rouletted patterns at the top and middle. It stands nearly 6 inches high.

Strange that even with the sustained damage, which occurred over 100 years ago, the original strap handle with foliate terminals remains intact. The multiple fractures were stabilized by a tinker in the 1800s by adding two metal bands around the top and middle section. The mug no longer holds liquids as it once did, but remains a staunch symbol of survival.

I was thrilled to add this beauty, once owned by author Jonathan Rickard, to my collection. Jonathan writes: “The quart mocha mug came from a Rhode Island dealer whose name escapes me. It was at the Tolland, Connecticut annual show perhaps ten years ago. Like most dipped wares, it will remain anonymous regarding its maker.” Thank you Jonathan, the Rhode Island dealer, and all of the other previous owners for saving this wonderful mug from the trash heap.

Chinese mug with large replacement handle, c.1770

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

This cylindrical form porcelain mug was made in China during the third quarter of the eighteenth century. It is decorated in the Nanking pattern with trees, birds, pagodas and boats, using cobalt blue underglaze enamel. It measures 4.75 inches high with a 3.5 inch opening.

It appears that this mug has a story to tell, as its original strap handle has gone astray and is now fitted with a rusty iron replacement. Perhaps a bar room brawl resulted in the loss, or someone dropped the mug while clearing the table, or during a wash-up. We may never know for sure how the deed was done but I am thankful the owner had the good sense to have a tinker replace the handle, rather than throw out the broken mug. Isn’t it remarkable that this chipped survivor from 250 years ago is still able to engaging us and stir our imaginations?

This mug with similar form and decoration shows what the original strap handle might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of eBay

Chinese mug with metal handle, c.1780

Saturday, February 4th, 2017

This bell-shaped footed porcelain mug was made in China in the late 1700s for export to Europe and North America. It is painted in the Famille Rose palette with polychrome enamels and depicts a domestic scene with family members gathered around a large green table. I particularly like the porcelain teapot and cups on the table, as well as vases and garden seats nearby. It measures 6.25 inches tall and 4.5 inches across the top.

At some point in this mug’s early life something went awry. We will never know for sure if a scullery maid, a small child or a cat knocked over the mug, causing the handle to snap off. But rather than toss out the broken pieces, the owner brought them to a clever chap who made a simple bronze replacement handle. Many years later the handle was painted white, and now is discolored a sickly yellow. I am tempted to strip off the offensive veneer to reveal the rich bronze color beneath, but for now I will keep it as is.

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

Photo courtesy of The Saleroom

Chinese mug with multiple repairs, c.1750

Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

This bell-shaped footed porcelain mug was made in China in the mid 1700s. It has floral decoration in the Famille Rose palette and stands 5.5 inches tall.

It appears that someone literally loved this mug to pieces. I imagine that the person who dropped it must have been heartbroken, watching it tumble to the ground where it suffered multiple breaks, chips, and cracks. The early metal repairs, done over 150 years ago, included a band along the rim to stabilize cracks, braces on the handle, and rivets to reinforce four symmetrical chips. Much how time can mend a broken heart, a skilled restorer did an excellent yet eccentric job with this mug break-up.

img_5560-version-2

img_5561

img_5571-version-2

img_5565

img_5562

img_5563

img_5566

Mandarin mug to jug transformation, c.1840

Monday, February 15th, 2016

This is one of the more unusual transformation pieces I have in my collection. Much like the butterfly painted on the reverse side, it began life as one thing and transformed into something entirely different. I call it a metamorphosis mug. Made between 1830 and 1850, this Chinese export porcelain mug in the Famille Rose Mandarin palette was converted to a milk jug with the addition of a silver spout. It has two decorated panels, one with a courtyard scene and the other with images of exotic birds, butterflies, fruits and flowers. It stands 4-1/2 inches high and is 5-1/2 inches wide from handle to spout.

The silver mount has an 1871 London hallmark. Although I have many examples of silver spouts, handles and lids, it is rare to find hallmarks that date and place a repair. I particularly like the ornate sparrow beak spout.

IMG_8720 - Version 2

IMG_8722

IMG_8727

IMG_8728

IMG_8724

IMG_8725

IMG_8731

IMG_8729

This mug was happy being a mug and felt no need to spread its wings and become a jug.

picture16

Photo courtesy of Mimi’s Antiques

Mocha ware tavern mug, c.1850

Saturday, February 6th, 2016

This small cylinder form mocha ware tavern mug was made in England in the mid-1800s and stands just 4 inches tall. It is decorated with blue & black bands and a broad teal ground with a bold seaweed pattern.

I’m guessing that the original handle of this mug broke off during a particularly rough bar room brawl. Luckily, a local tinker, sometime in the third quarter of the 19th century, was able to bring it back to life by adding an iron replacement handle with support bands.

IMG_9092

IMG_9101

IMG_9098

IMG_9094 - Version 2

IMG_9100

Similar mocha ware mugs and jugs can be seen on the bottom shelf behind the counter in this late 19th century photo.

IMG_0049

IMG_0049 - Version 2

Photo courtesy of Martyn Edgell

This is what the original loop handle on my mug would have looked like prior to the brawl.

mocha mug

Photo courtesy of The Antique Dispensary

Child’s transferware proverb mug, c.1820

Saturday, August 1st, 2015

It’s obvious why there are so many early children’s ceramics with inventive repairs. Before the invention of bakelite and plastic, children used smaller versions of adult sized ceramics, and their little hands could barely hold these fragile vessels, especially when filled with hot liquids. So could you really blame these poor innocents when many a mug, plate and glass slipped away, ending up shattered on the floor?

This child’s mug is clearly titled with the 16th century English proverb “MAKE HAY WHILE THE SUN SHINES” and has brown transfer decoration of a farming scene with a pink lustre ring along the rim. It was made in the Staffordshire region of England in the first quarter of the 19th century and measures 2.25 inches high. After the handle broke off, it was taken to a tinker who fashioned an ear shaped metal replacement handle and support bands. A triangular piece from another cup was patched in along the top to replace a lost chip. In my humble opinion, the repairs add character to this wounded survivor, making it much more interesting than a “perfect” one.

This mug with identical form and decoration shows what the original handle on mine would have looked like before it took a tumble.

Screen Shot 2015-07-11 at 8.25.16 AM

Photo courtesy of Ruby Lane