Archive for the ‘teapot’ Category

Teapot signed “Coombs China Burner”, c.1780

Sunday, July 25th, 2021

This Chinese export porcelain drum-form teapot was made during the Qianlong Dynasty (1736-1795) and has a divided entwined handle with molded leaves and flowers at terminals, along with a molded berry with leaves shaped finial on the lid. It was decorated for the European market in the Famille Rose palette with floral sprays and blue ribbons, and measures 5.25 inches high, 10.25 inches wide from handle to spout.

At first glance this sturdy teapot looks a bit out of place on these pages of ceramics and glassware, mostly riddled with obvious repairs. But in fact, the spout was repaired in the late 1700s in a most inventive way by a china burner in Bristol, UK. Painted in red on underside is “Coombs, China Burner, Queens Street, Bristol”. Coombs fused the broken spout to the teapot by refiring the pot with glass silica. His calling card (last image) boasts “Burns all sorts of foreign china, such as dishes, plates, bowls…teapots, boats, coffee pots, mugs, etc. Likewise, rivets and rims, china bowls and glasses in the neatest manner.” What’s thrilling about Coombs’ work is that his pieces are signed, unlike most other repaired items which remain anonymous. I have a few more signed pieces repaired by Coombs, which I will post in the future.

Mandarin decorated teapot with metal spout, c.1760

Saturday, April 17th, 2021

This globular porcelain teapot from the middle Qianlong period (1735–96) has a Mandarin family scene decorated on both sides with polychrome and gilt enamels. It was made in China and measures 5.25 inches high, 7.75 inches from handle to spout. The lid, which appears to be the proper form for this teapot, is actually from another tea service and has been married to the pot.

At some point in the teapots early life, the original porcelain spout broke off and a silver replacement was attached. I own many and have seen dozens of other replacement spouts with identical shapes including the scalloped back plate. I believe they were made in bulk and stocked by jewelers who were ready to grind down broken spout remains and snap on the replacements. One day I will publish a posting showing all of the similar silver spouts.

This teapot, with similar form and decoration, suggests what the original spout on mine would have looked like.

Photo courtesy of Rob Michiels Auctions

Small lobed teapot with metal spout & handle, c.1710

Sunday, February 21st, 2021

This small lobed porcelain teapot, appears to have been made in China during the late Kangxi period (1662-1722.) It measure 4.25 inches high, 6.25 inches wide handle to spout and is decorated in the Japanese Imari palette of blue, red, gilt on white.

I love a double repair and this one delivers on both counts. We will never know if the replacement handle and spout were added at the same time or separately. The sturdy bronze replacement handle is tightly wrapped in rattan for insulation from the hot teapot contents. The metal replacement spout is more humble but allowed the tea to flow once again.

This teapot, with similar form and decoration, has all of its original parts intact. But I still like mine, with its added character, better.

Photo courtesy of Live Auctioneers

Chinese teapot with metal spout, c.1770

Sunday, January 10th, 2021

This globular form porcelain teapot was made in China during the Qianlong Period (1736-1795.) It has floral decoration in the Famille Rose palette and measures 6 inches high, 8.75 inches wide from handle to spout.

Long ago, someone let this fragile teapot slip from their grasp, resulting in a broken spout and lid. A metalsmith brought it back to life by attaching a sturdy iron replacement spout, which allowed tea to flow once more. A lid with similar form and decoration from another (broken?) teapot was added to complete the restoration/transformation. Later in the troubled pot’s history, a few chips along the rim were painted over in gold. Rather than helping to soften the blow, the gilding actually accents the imperfections, in the same way that kintsugi celebrates cracks and repairs.

This teapot, with similar form and decoration, suggests what the original handle and lid on mine might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of A & M

Miniature creamware teapot, c.1785

Sunday, November 22nd, 2020

I marvel at miniatures and have collected them since I was around 12 years old. As much as I love well proportioned miniature antiques, I am over the moon for antique miniatures with inventive repairs. With that in mind, you can see why this tiny teapot sends me reeling.

This child’s creamware pottery drum form teapot with painted flowers and cherries stands a mere 2.5 inches high and is just over 3.5 inches from handle to spout. It was made in England during the 4th quarter of the 18th century. At some point in its early history, I imagine a child dropped the teapot during play teatime and the original handle broke off. Luckily for the child and eventually for me, a tinsmith made a metal replacement handle and the imaginary tea was able to flow again. Wouldn’t it be great to find an entire miniature tea set with each piece possessing a different early repair? Well, I can dream, can’t I?

This teapot with similar form suggests what the original loop handle on my teapot might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of Ruby Lane

Kangxi powder blue teapot, c.1700

Sunday, October 18th, 2020

This porcelain barrel form teapot with powder blue glaze was made in China, c.1700. It is decorated with panels containing a flowering tree on one side and precious objects on the other side. It measures 4 inches high, 6.75 inches from handle to spout.

I love objects with multiple repairs and this beautiful teapot has many, including a metal replacement spout, a wood replacement knob, and 6 metal staples.

This teapot with almost identical form and decoration still has its original spout, and knob.

Photo courtesy of Rob Michiels Auctions

Batavian teapot with silver coin terminals, c.1730

Sunday, September 27th, 2020

This Batavian brown glazed globular form teapot with cobalt blue decoration was made in China during the middle of the Qianlong dynasty (1736-1795). Batavia ware, aka Capuchin ware or Cafe au lait, was highly favored by the Dutch and named for the city of Batavia (today Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia), the center of Dutch trade in the 18th century.

Teapot stands 5.25 inches high, 7.5 inches from handle to spout and has double repairs: a metal replacement handle wrapped in woven rattan and a silver replacement spout with engraved decoration. As if that wasn’t enough, two silver coins from the reign of King Charles (Carlos) of Spain (1661-1700) were used as handle terminals. Judging from the precious materials used on both repairs, it’s safe to assume that the original owner was well off.

This teapot, with similar form and decoration, shows what the original handle and spout on mine might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of BidLive

Chinese teapot with applied flowers and triple repairs, c.1730

Sunday, August 2nd, 2020

This baluster form porcelain teapot with applied flowers was made in China during the tail end of the Yongzheng period (1678-1735.) It measures 5 inches high, 6.75 inches from handle to spout and is decorated in the Famille Rose palette of green, orange, blue, lavender, and gilt.

Various craftspeople were kept busy making repairs on this poor injured fighter. We will never know exactly who did the repairs or when they were done but it seems likely that a metal smith made the silver replacement spout sometime in the 1700s-1800s. The rattan wrapped bronze replacement handle was most likely done in the 1800s and the wooden replacement knob could have been done as late as the early 1900s.

The last photo shows a similar teapot with all of its original parts intact, but I much prefer my mismatched sampler of various early repairs.

This teapot with similar form and decoration suggests what the original spout, handle, and knob on mine might have looked like before it took a tumble.

Photo courtesy of Northeast Auctions

Stoneware teapot with flute player, c.1760

Saturday, June 27th, 2020

This globular form salt-glazed stoneware teapot was made in Staffordshire, England, c.1760-65. It has a molded crabstock spout and is decorated in polychrome enamels of pink, green, yellow, blue, and black. I quite like how the male flute player and the female dancing among oversized flowers are rendered. Measures 3.25 inches high, 6 inches wide from handle to spout.

Someone must have been a bit clumsy over 200 years ago, as the little teapot has not one but two early repairs – a metal replacement handle and a metal replacement knob. These are both a bit rustic and most likely done by an itinerant tinker, traveling from town to town to repair all types of broken household objects. Thanks to the unsung hero who helped preserve this charming teapot, as well as the original owners who had to good sense to have it repaired and then pass it on for future generations to enjoy.

This teapot, with similar form and decoration, suggests what the original handle and knob might have looked like on my teapot.

Photo courtesy of John Howard

Basalt teapot with Sibyl knob, c.1785

Sunday, February 9th, 2020

This classical black basalt pottery teapot with engine-turned ribbed body was made in England, c.1785-95. It stands 4.5 inches high, 8 inches wide from handle to spout. An impressed mark “NEALE & CO” can be found on the underside. My favorite design feature is the Sibyl knop on the lid, an intricately detailed sculptural feat unto itself.

After the original spout broke off – most likely over 175 years ago – a silversmith applied a silver replacement. I tend to keep replacement metals unpolished, as I feel the oxidization adds another layer of beauty to the piece. In this case, the dark richness of the silver spout blends in nicely with the teapots black surface.

This intact teapot with similar form suggests what the original spout on my teapot might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of 1stdibs