Archive for the ‘publication’ Category

“Jack of All Trades”, c.1812

Friday, June 11th, 2010

“Men of this description are in China termed Fia-Con-Culk-Tziang; they practise every kind of occupation; they mend porcelain, repair locks, and solder pipes. They have a portable forge, anvil, furnace, coal, and all sorts of tools. The whole of this baggage is suspended to a bamboo cane; the anvil alone occupies one side to counterpoise the rest.”

“The china-menders are said to be far superior to our menders of earthen-ware; the reason of this is, that, working on a more valuable material, and making a higher charge, they take more pains with it; their piercer, instead of being iron, like that of our stall gentry, has a diamond point; extremely fine brass wire is passed through the holes, and the vessel, for use, is as good as ever”

For a more detailed account on the art of staple repair, see my blog entry “How did they do that?” from 5/12/10

From the book “China: It’s Costume, Arts, Manufacturers &c, Volume 3” by Breton (Jean Baptiste Joseph, M.), published in 1812

Scottish china-mender, c.1918

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

This photo was sent to me by a Scottish collector of pottery & porcelain who has been most generous in sharing his knowledge and examples from his collection with me. The photo by Alexander Beattie is included in Volume 6 of the series, “Peoples of All Nations”, edited by J.A. Hammerton. The caption reads: “Wandering china-mender camped by the pines of Rothiemurchus (Scotland)”, followed by: “He wends his way through the land, making a trifle at each village where thrifty folk may prefer the sight of a riveted jug to the cost of buying a new one. His push-cart carries house and belongings, and, when evening overtakes him, shelter and fire are soon ready, and while the pungent wood-smoke drifts about him he finishes some job for a local cottager.”

Close up of hand drilling, with jug in need of repair at his feet

Much thanks to Jim Horne for sending me this photo

Martha Stewart Living

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

An article featuring items from my collection appeared in the October 2001 issue of Martha Stewart Living. I was told that Martha appreciates antiques with inventive repairs and was quite pleased with the article. The gorgeous photographs were taken by Maria Robledo; Thomas Hine wrote the text and the story was created by Brian Andriola, Fritz Karch and Alexa Mulvihill. Look closely at the images below to see examples from my collection…

Photos courtesy of Martha Stewart Living

“Itinerant Mender of Crockery”, c.1900

Friday, May 21st, 2010

“In this picture he is drilling a hole into which he fixes a small brass rivet, and a cup when mended will often contain a dozen or more of these, and the whole thing is done at the cost of a cent or two”

From the book “Familiar Chinese Faces” by J.C. Carter, published in Shanghai by McTavish & Co. Ltd.

Tea Time magazine

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

The current issue of Tea Time magazine (May/June 2010) contains an article featuring teapots with inventive repairs from my collection, written by author and tea expert Elizabeth Knight.

Tea Time creative director and photographer Mac Jamieson flew up from Alabama to shoot this story in my NYC apartment. He and editor Lorna Reeves were a pleasure to work with and both exuded southern charm!