Archive for the ‘mug/tankard’ Category

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

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