Archive for the ‘jug’ Category

Smear glaze jug with ornate metal handle, c.1800

Sunday, October 25th, 2020

In March 2014, I was invited to give a talk at the English Ceramics Circle in London. Prior to my arrival, I had asked for members to bring in examples from their collections to look at and discuss. Following the talk I met a lovely woman, Field McIntyre, who brought in three of her treasures, each with vastly different types of repair. She is an extremely knowledgable dealer and collector and I learned a lot about each of her unique pieces. We kept in touch over the years and in January 2019, I received a parcel from London which contained the three pieces from her collection. I was gobsmacked by her extraordinary and generous gift and thrilled to add them to my collection. Thank you again, Field!

This small Dutch shape stoneware pottery jug with smear-glaze slip body was made in England, c.1795-1810. It is decorated with classical white relief sprig decoration showing “Poor Maria (and her dog)” on one side and “Charlotte weeping at the tomb of Werther” on the reverse. Under the spout is decoration showing 2 girls with a pail. Jug is unmarked and measures 2.5 inches high, 4 inches from handle to spout.

After the jug took a tumble and the handle broke off, well over 150 years ago, it was replaced by an unusual copper handle with beads down the center. Says Field “It is the type supplied by various manufacturers to J. Mist, repairer, of London.” I have never come across this type of replacement handle before and hope to find more examples to compare it to. Keep an eye on these pages for upcoming posts showing the other two make-do’s gifted to me from Field.

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

Photo courtesy of Winterthur

Make-do’s in movies: The Trial of the Chicago 7

Saturday, October 3rd, 2020

Last October I was working on The Trial of the Chicago 7, a historical drama written and directed by Aaron Sorkin. This important movie is about the true events surrounding peaceful protests which incited riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Sound familiar? Sadly, history repeats itself.

I like combining two of my interests by using antiques with inventive repairs as set dressing in my film work. On this project, I placed a jug with a metal replacement handle on the set of Attorney General and civil rights lawyer Ramsey Clark, played by Michael Keaton. Unlike some of the other more humble interiors I decorated for Black Panthers, hippies, yippies, and journalists, Clark’s study is wood paneled and filled with traditional American and English furnishings.

The light blue stoneware relief moulded ‘Stag’ jug was made by Stephen Hughes in England, c.1840-55. It stands 5.5 inches high and has an impressed “36” on underside. After the original handle broke off, a tinker made a sturdy metal replacement, which is attached to the original pewter lid.

I will continue to use make-do’s as set dressing in my film work so keep watching and try to spot them. The Trial of the Chicago 7 is currently playing at selected theaters and will be released on Netflix, October 16th. See you at the movies and don’t forget to vote!

This intact example still retains its original handle.

Photo courtesy of Worthpoint

Small copper lustre jug with metal handle, c.1830

Sunday, July 26th, 2020

This small pottery jug with copper lustre glaze was most likely made by Enoch Wood & Sons in Staffordshire, England, c.1830. It stands 4.5 inches high and is much smaller than most of the other lustre jugs I have in my collection. I especially like the unusual, whimsical painted decoration, which looks like a tree of green eyeballs, right out of a Dr. Seuss book.

But the real reason you are viewing this jug is because of its metal replacement handle, added by a tinsmith after the original handle broke off. This type of repair is not unusual and can be found on all types of ceramics throughout the world. What makes it special to me is the juxtaposition of the clunky metal handle on the delicate pottery jug with the quirky decoration.

This gives you an idea of what the original handle on my jug would have looked like when it was intact.

Photo courtesy of George Gibison

Pair of Chinese jugs with silver spouts, c.1720

Saturday, May 23rd, 2020

As I have noted many times in these pages, I love finding multiples of matching inventive repairs.

This colorful pair of Chinese porcelain footed jugs, made during the later part of the Kangxi period (1661–1722), has floral decorations with gilt highlights. They are baluster-form with unusual flattened sides, stand 8 inches high, and were most likely part of a large set of tableware for a wealthy household.

At some point in the jugs early lives, both of the spouts broke off, rendering them unusable. Luckily, a clever and talented silversmith was able to fashion new spouts with lovely engraved decoration, and attach them to the jugs. I can only assume that as soon as the jugs were brought home, they were put back on the dining room table and used again for many generations.

Alcock “Naomi” jug, c.1847

Saturday, April 4th, 2020

This pale blue Parian salt glaze jug with a molded relief biblical design and a scalloped fitted base was made in Burslem, Staffordshire, England by Samuel Alcock & Co. in 1847. It stands 9.5 inches high and is marked on the underside “Naomi and Her Daughters-in-Law”, along with a British diamond registration mark, dating the jug to 1847. The design was taken from the painting Naomi with Her Daughters-in-law Ruth and Orpah by Henry Nelson O’Neill (1817-1880.)

I have seen more examples of the Alcock “Naomi” jug with replacement handles than any other pieces. There must have been a design and or manufacturing flaw in the original molds, which rendered the handle unstable. Although this jug maintains its original pewter lid, it was fitted with a metal replacement handle and support straps after the original handle broke off, most likely soon after it was made.

It would be fun to see how many more jugs with this design and replacement handles are out there, so please let me know if you have own one or have come across any.

Here are both of my Naomi jugs side by side for comparison. Take a look at my other jug at this link.

At last…here’s what the original flawed handle looks like.

Photo courtesy of eBay

Dixon & Sons jug with authentication letter, c.1842

Sunday, January 26th, 2020

Here’s a curious one. I bought this English earthenware pottery jug online many years ago and was pleased to discover that it came with an interesting provenance. It stands 10.5 inch high and is decorated in yellow with Chinoiserie cartouche decorations and floral sprays, over glazed with color washes and gilt trim. It has a Britannia metal lid and a bronze replacement handle, as the original one broke off well over 100 years ago. It is clearly marked on the underside: “PUBLISHED BY JA’S. DIXON & SONS, SHEFFIELD, MARCH 1ST 1842”.

I found a letter rolled up inside of the jug from the manufacturer James Dixon & Sons dated 6th July, 1962, along with a sketch. Here is a transcription of the letter:

“Dear Sir,

We readily identify the earthenware Water Jug from your sketch.

Our records show this and similar jugs were being made and sold by us from 1842 onwards. You could assume the date for yours to be in or near that year.

We have in our possession a Jug as yours.

It is not possible to replace the original handle which was part of the jug. Rough sketch of the handle is enclosed.

These earthenware jugs were specially made for using the Staffordshire Potteries and nowadays they are not obtainable. We fitted the covers which were made from Britannia Metal.

You do not say where you obtained your jug, probably from a second-hand source; on the other hand it may have been in the U.S.A. We did in the past years export them to your country. They are today museum pieces.

We trust we have been of service,

Yours faithfully,

James Dixon & Sons, LTD.”

This identical jug shows what the original handle looked like.

Photo courtesy of Worthpoint

Westerwald jug with pewter bands, c.1800

Sunday, November 3rd, 2019

This Westerwald stoneware pottery jug with pewter mounts was made in Germany, c.1800. It is decorated in an ornate scroll-like relief pattern with cobalt and manganese glazes. The pewter bands around the neck are a later addition to help stabilize multiple cracks, and the original pewter top has the engraved initials of H. R. It stands 13.5 inches high, 5.5 inches wide.

I would love to find out more information on this striking jug so please post any insights you may have.

I’ve had trouble finding an accurate “before” photo so instead I’ve included a wonderful German oil painting c.1675, featuring an early stoneware jug, similar in style to mine. Now, if only it had an early inventive repair…

George Washington commemorative jug, c.1800

Saturday, September 7th, 2019

This large creamware jug was made for the US market, most likely in the Liverpool area of London, c.1800. It stands 9 inches high and is decorated with transfer decoration commemorating George Washington and includes an eagle, American flags, and other patriotic symbols.

Over 200 years ago, someone must have slammed the pottery jug down on the bar a bit too harshly and cracked the bottom. Luckily for me, a skilled tinsmith fashioned a unique patch attached to a band at the base, which helped bring the broken vessel back to life. I hope that if George Washington were alive today, he would be approve of the inventive repair done on his jug.

This jug, identical in form and decoration, shows what mine would have looked like when it was intact.

Photo courtesy of Martyn Edgell Antiques

Small sprigged jug with brass handle, c.1820

Sunday, May 26th, 2019

Good things come in small packages, as is evident by this small but mighty Dutch shape jug, which was made in England between 1815 and 1820. It stands 3.5 inches high, 4.25 inches wide from handle to spout and has a lavender ground with white sprigged decorations including gryphons, cupids, a figural Baccus head spout, a large urn, and a rim border of grape clusters and leaves. Possibly made by Ridgway Pottery but many other potters made this and similar designs.

Over 150 years ago, a clever metalsmith fashioned a simple brass replacement handle. Without compromising the jug by drilling through the side, this practical handle clips on to the broken ends of the jug, much like a crown repairs a broken tooth. While many types of metal are used to repair broken ceramics, polished brass is not one of the more common materials. I find that the warm golden tone adds a regal touch to this small but highly decorative jug.

This jug, identical to mine, shows what the original handle looked like.

Photo courtesy of eBay

Sir William Nicholson still life painting with broken jug

Sunday, March 24th, 2019

Odd, but I keep coming across the same pottery jug, each with a different replacement handle. It’s just one of those things. There must have been a design flaw in the manufacturing of the handles, rendering them too delicate to support the jugs once they were filled with liquid. I feel bad for the unsuspecting original owners, but am selfishly glad that there are so many examples out there with inventively repaired replacement handles.

This jug was made in England, circa 1850, and stands 6.5 inches high. It is decorated with pink lustre and polychrome enamels and has a stag and spotted hound in relief, along with an impressed mark EPSOM CUP, on one side, and a pair of stags on the reverse.

I was delighted to come across this image of an oil painting: Cyclamen, by Sir William Nicholson, 1937, which features the same Emsom Cup jug with a missing handle. I wonder if he ever had the handle replaced and if so, I hope to find it and add it to my collection.

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And finally, here’s a jug with its original sprig-form handle, showing what my jug looked like before the handle snapped off.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Click here to see an earlier posting featuring a pair of Epsom Cup jugs with metal replacement handles.