Archive for the ‘saucer’ Category

Chinese export saucer with metal cuff, c.1770

Sunday, July 28th, 2019

This attractive porcelain saucer was made in China, c.1765-1775, during the Qianlong Period. It measures 1.25 inches high, 4.75 inches diameter and is decorated in the Mandarin palette with polychrome enamels, featuring a vignette of 5 figures on a terrace and birds along the border.

The saucer must have chipped rather badly, as a large metal cuff with a 2 inch decorated flattened metal staple covers a damaged area beneath. This unusual repair appears to have been crafted by a tinker, sometime in the 19th century.

I bought this, along with a mismatched tea bowl, from one of my favorite shops in London and was told by the owner “… we bought this little saucer yesterday with a lovely metal ‘plate’ tinker repair and supporting bar, the bar is etched with little line decoration, I don’t think I have ever seen a repair like this before, it does come with a bog standard riveted tea bowl, we would split them but the bloke we bought them from told me they had been together on his mother’s mantlepiece for at least 70 years, and I am a bit sentimental like that.”

The last photo shows the tea bowl, which I will post at a later date.

Miniature cup with staples, c.1910

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

This is the one of the smallest antiques with inventive repair I have ever seen. Made in England by the Crown Staffordshire Porcelain Co. Ltd. in the early 1900s, the cup is a mere 3/4 inches high and the matching saucer has a diameter of just 1 inch. Both are decorated with pink flowers on a cobalt and gilt ground. The cup is stamped in green on the underside CROWN above the image of a crown. The same mark is barely visible on the underside of the saucer.

The smallest of the 3 metal staples on the cup measures a mind-boggling 1/8 of an inch long. After the staples were applied, they were painted over to blend in and appear less offensive. I can only imagine the precision and skill needed to make this delicate repair.







Here is an entire miniature tea service also made by Crown.


Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Minton cup with butterfly handle, c.1869

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

This delicate English porcelain bone china cup and saucer each have a transfer decoration of butterflies and flowers with hand painted washes of color. The figural butterfly handle, though lovely to look at, makes for an unsteady grasp on a steaming hot cup of tea. Perhaps that’s how both the cup and the saucer met their early demise and ended up crashing to the floor, breaking into many pieces. But luckily a local china mender was standing by with drill and staples at hand, and able to join together the broken pieces. Six tiny brass staples were carefully attached, three on the cup and three on the saucer, allowing the tea to flow once more.

Marked on the underside of the cup, which measures 1-3/4″ high, is an English registry cypher, dating the piece to April 7, 1869. The saucer, with a diameter of 5-1/2″,  has a faint impressed MINTON mark.

IMG_6333 - Version 2

IMG_6335 - Version 2





Miniature Coalport cup & saucer, c.1900

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

This minute bone china porcelain cup & saucer duo, made at the turn of the 20th century at the Coalport factory in Shropshire, England, has some of the smallest metal staple repairs I have ever seen. It has printed Japanese style floral decoration in the Japanese Imari palette, consisting of iron red, cobalt blue and gilt enamels. Both pieces are marked with a green stamp on the underside, dating them to 1890-1920. The saucer measures 3-1/4″ in diameter and the cup stands nearly 1-1/2″  high with an opening of 2″.

After the dainty saucer fell to the floor, breaking into six small fragments, it was brought to a china mender who pieced the puzzle back together. Using 10 custom made metal staples, the smallest being a mere 1/4″ long, the saucer was once again able to function as a support to the tiny cup it carried. Imagine the nimble fingers capable of creating such fine work!






Russian Gardner cups & saucers, c.1900

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

To celebrate the conclusion of my work on Season 2 of The Americans, a television show on the FX network set in 1982 about a pair of Russian spies living as Americans in Washington, D.C., I am posting this pair of Russian tea cups and saucers. They were made by the Gardner factory at the turn of the 20th century and are decorated with gold leaves, and hand painted flowers in white medallions, set against a deep red ground. They are part of a larger tea set, many of which were exported to the Turkish Empire and Central Asia. The cups measure about 2″ high, with an opening of 3-1/4″, and the saucers have a diameter of 5-1/4″. Both cups were broken and repaired by a china mender in the early to mid 1900s, after Sascha dropped the entire tea service while entertaining Anastasia and Vladimir. неуклюжая девочка!

IMG_8226 - Version 2

Cup 1 (top) with gilt leaf decoration, has hand cut metal staples that still hold the two broken pieces tightly together. It has a factory mark stamped in red on the underside.






Cup 2 (bottom) has a yellowed replaced chip, possibly from another cup. Once repaired with metal staples, the cup is now held together by a sloppy glue job, although the empty staple holes are still visible.






This partial tea set was also made by Gardner and includes a cup and saucer much like mine.


Photo courtesy of LiveAuctioneers

Shelley Art Deco cup & saucer, c.1930

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

“Vogue” shaped porcelain teacup in the bright yellow Sunray pattern 11742, designed by Eric Slater for Shelley and introduced in August 1930. Discontinued in 1933, due to impractically designed hard to hold cup handle.

Teacup has footed conical form and measures 2-1/2′ high and the saucer is 4″ in diameter.

Stamped in green on the bottom: Shelley; ENGLAND; Rd 756533 with pattern number 11742-4.

A close up of one of the metal staples which was drilled through the outside of the delicate cup, holding the 2 broken pieces together.

The inside of the teacup reveals the ends of the staples flanking the crack.

This “perfect” example can be seen in the ceramics collection at the V&A  Museum in London.


Imperial Nanking cup & saucer, c.1810

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

A delicate Imperial Nanking porcelain cup with matching saucer, decorated in cobalt blue underglaze with gilt overglaze trim. Both pieces have a scalloped rim and were made in China for export to Europe and North America in the early 1800’s.

The cup measures 2-1/4″ high, with a diameter of 2-1/4″ and the saucer has a diameter of 5″.

When the lapped reeded handle broke off nearly 160 years ago leaving just the leaf terminals, a skilled metalsmith forged a bronze handle and covered it with woven rattan.

The original handle on my cup would have looked like the one on this cup of similar form and decoration.

Photo courtesy of Trocadero


“Bacchanalian Cherubs” saucer, c.1830

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Blue & white transfer printed pearlware pottery saucer, showing a group of inebriated cherubs picking grapes. Measures 4-3/4″ in diameter.

Made in England by Patterson & Co. in the early 19th century.

Marked on the bottom with the number “84” in blue, but without a maker’s name.

Saucer was repaired in the 19th century and is now held together with one dozen metal staples, including some of the smallest examples I have ever seen at 3/8″ long.

Chinese clobbered saucer, c.1690

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

This Chinese porcelain hexagonal shaped saucer began life in the late 1600’s simply decorated with blue underglaze, but was later clobbered (painted over) in the mid-1700’s in more “attractive colors” to the taste of the day.

The original blue underglaze decoration was “improved upon” with the addition of arbitrarily painted red and green overglaze, most likely in Amsterdam.

This small gem, which measures 4-1/2″ in diameter, has 14 metal staples holding the once shattered saucer intact, more staples per square inch than any other example I own. A matching cup, also held together with many staple repairs, was unfortunately lost during a move to Florida.

There are 11 iron staples on the back of the saucer and 3 staples (2 iron and 1 brass) on the front.