Archive for the ‘pot/jar’ Category

Worcester inkwell & quill holder, c.1810

Saturday, April 2nd, 2016

This gorgeous porcelain drum form inkwell with conical reservoir and 3 quill holes is hand painted in polychrome enamels with gilt highlights. Made by Worcester around 1810, it is marked on the underside in red script “Goldfinch / Chamberlain’s Worcester.” It measures nearly 2.75 inches high with a diameter of just over 2.5 inches.

I can just imagine the dreaded day, well over 150 years ago, when this expensive inkwell dropped to the hard floor, breaking into 4 pieces. A skilled tinker or itinerant “china mender” came to the rescue by adding 7 iron staples and a copper band around the top, enabling the inkwell to function again. Putty was added to help seal gaps left along the rim and for added assurance that ink would not seep through the bonded cracks.









This is another rare example of a Chamberlains Worcester inkwell, minus the early repairs that mine has.

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Photo courtesy of The Saleroom

Porcelain jar with figures, c.1890

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

This small Chinese porcelain “Kangxi revival” jar was made during the latter part of the Qing dynasty (1644-1912), Guangxu period (1875-1908). It is decorated in cobalt blue underglaze with eight figures and stands about 5″  high, with a four character mark on the underside.

At some point during its early life this jar was dropped, resulting in a complex fracture. But rather than tossing the broken pieces out on to the curb, they were taken to a china mender who lovingly restored the jar using metal staples, aka rivets. Judging by the form and the use of double rivets, the repair appears to have been done in the Middle East, where recycled wire was used by itinerant street menders to form flattened rivets.








This jar has a similar form and decoration and remains in one piece.

bw jar

Photo courtesy of Petrie Rogers

Qianlong period chamber pot, c.1770

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

I own a classic book about collecting antique English household pottery, “If these Pots Could Talk” by Ivor Noel Hume. Regarding the early usage of this particular pot, I’d rather not hear what it has to say. This Chinese export porcelain chamber pot with cover dates from the Qianlong period (1735-1796) and measures 5-1/2″ high to the top of the lid and is 9-1/2″ wide to the end of the handle. It is hand decorated in the Famille Rose palette with panels of birds and flowers with gilt highlights.

The thought of about how this pot lost its original handle is something I’d rather not dwell on but I just hope it was empty when it broke. As this was an expensive and necessary asset to the household, it was not thrown out but immediately repaired and put back in to use. Most likely it was taken to a china mender who made a sturdy metal replacement handle, then covered it in woven wicker to aid against further slippage.

I remember a certain customer in my parents antiques shop years ago who purchased a large Victorian ceramic slop bucket from a bedroom chamber set. Knowing what it was, she proceeded to boast that she intended to use it as a soup tureen at an upcoming dinner party she was throwing for the kids where she had already talked to the, team from kids birthday parties Santa Fe Springs to help her. If that pot could talk, I hope it would have warned the dinner guests not to eat the chowder!











This identical example shows what the original handle on mine looked like before it broke off. Notice the multiple chips along the rim. I’m guessing that many chamber pots went bump in the night.


Photo courtesy of Andrew Dando

Bahima milk container, c.1950

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

A wooden milk container, known as ekyanzi, was made in Uganda, Africa by the Hima/Bahima tribe in the mid-20th century. It measures 9-1/2″ tall, with a 2-1/2″ diameter opening. The wonderfully graphic indigenous repairs, including zipper-like alternating folded tabs to mend cracks, and coin-shaped plugs to fill holes, are made of recycled aluminum. The equally graphic woven covers are not always found with the pots and are collected independently.







A Bahima girl with her family’s wooden milk pots. The lighter colored pots are made from gourds.


Photo courtesy of Getty Images

American redware pot, c.1850

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

I found this great little red clay pottery pot in Maine a few years back and it continues to amuse me. It has an appealing patinated surface and an unusual thrifty make-do repair, typical of pieces found in New England. I believe it was made in Massachusetts in the mid-1800s and measures 6″ high, with a top diameter of 5″. When the pot cracked, no doubt due to excessive use, an iron band was slipped over the neck, but had to be made wide enough to clear the slightly flared ridge. So to tighten the band and seal the crack, five hand forged square nails were wedged between the metal band and the outside wall of the pot, forming a snug seal. This novel repair certainly did the trick to make the pot function once again and also inadvertently transformed it from a plain vessel into a folksy curiosity.


Ming Swatow jar, c.1590

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

Small Wanli period (1573-1620) Ming pottery jar from Swatow, in Southeast China, with a blue underglaze decoration of deer and stylized plants with crackle glaze. I purchased this great little jar from a ceramics dealer in Amsterdam, where a replacement neck was created over 200 years ago after the original neck broke off.

Jar measures 3-1/4″ high, 3-1/4″ wide.

Remains of the original broken neck are mostly obscured by the replacement neck and collar.

The Dutch replacement copper neck has an elaborately engraved floral design.

This jar has the same form and decoration as mine but with an intact neck.

Photo courtesy of Trocadero

Continental pewter pot, c.1850

Friday, March 26th, 2010

I have not come across many examples of pewter with inventive repairs so I was glad to have found this 11″ tall urn shaped coffee pot.

A metal replacement handle with thumb rest and crimped edges has the same silhouette as the original handle, which would have been carved out of wood.

A Continental maker’s marks on the bottom confirms the piece is neither American nor English.

This Federal period coffee pot from Philadelphia maintains its original handle.

Photo courtesy of Antiques and the Arts

Gaudy Dutch coffee pot, c.1810

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

Colorful pearlware baluster shaped coffee pot from England with double repairs and “King’s Rose” pattern decoration. Pot stands 12″ high, and has seen better days.

The base, riddled with large chips and no longer able to support the pot, was repaired with tin replacement in the middle to late 1800’s.

The ill-fitting domed lid, possibly from another piece in the set, originally had a skep shaped knob. This replaced knob, made of iron and looking like a large push pin, has been bolted through the top of the lid.

An astonishingly similar coffee pot, in wonderful condition, boasts its original base and finial.

Photo courtesy of Christie’s