Archive for the ‘plate/platter’ Category

Blue & white Spanish plate, c.1870

Sunday, June 7th, 2020

This striking tin-glazed earthenware pottery plate was most likely made in Manises, Valencia, Spain in the late 1800s. It is boldly decorated with stylized trees, flowers and houses in cobalt blue glaze and measures 12.25 inches in diameter.

On the underside is the mark Fv V(?) as well as 7 HUGE metal wire staples, which were attached well over 100 years ago after the plate broke in half. Metal staples/rivets were used in many parts of the world to repair broken ceramics and glassware, ranging in size from less than 1/2 inch to over 3 inches long. Repairs done on tin glazed pottery from Spain, Italy and France typically have larger iron staples such as these.

My plate would feel right at home with this collection at the Museum of Ceramics in Manises, Spain.

Photo courtesy of Museu de Ceramica de Manises

Mismatched Canton trio with large staples, c.1835

Sunday, April 26th, 2020

My cousin-in-law Carol is a true artist with incredible taste. She is equally adept at painting, sculpture, sewing, and just about any other form of art or craft. Her homes have been decorated with a keen eye and filled with beautiful and quirky details. When she found out about my passion for antiques with inventive repairs, she started sending me wonderful examples for my collection.

This trio of mis-matched 18th century Chinese Canton porcelain arrived unannounced a few months ago. Each piece is decorated in the pagoda pattern in cobalt blue underglaze on a white ground. The small tureen measures 7 inches wide from handle to handle and is 5 inches high to the top of lid finial. The small plate, used here as an under tray, is 9.5 inches x 6.75 inches.

I wouldn’t be surprised of these “damaged” pieces were weeded out of a larger dinner service by a dealer who only wanted to keep the “perfect” pieces. The repairs here include 3 large double brass staples each on the tureen and lid, and 3 large white metal staples on the underside of the plate.

Thank you to whoever did me the favor of dividing up the set and leaving the more interesting stapled pieces for my collection. And thank you again Carol for your generosity and appreciation for the unusual and the quirky!

Floral French faience plate, c.1830

Saturday, April 18th, 2020

This colorful faience (tin-glazed) earthenware plate was made in north-eastern France in the early 1800s. The bold floral decoration is rendered in polychrome enamels, attributed to small pottery workshops in the town of Les Islettes in the Lorraine region. The plate measures 12 inches in diameter.

Earthenware is less durable than porcelain and stoneware so it is not uncommon to find tin-glazed plates from this period with early repairs. After the plate broke, a restorer reunited the two pieces by drilling small holes straight through the surface, lacing a small piece of sturdy wire through the holes, and twisting the ends together. Putty or a bonding cement was added to fill the gaps in the holes. Sometimes multiple strands of thin brass wire were used instead of one piece of heavier wire. Other popular types of repairs in the region include large staples and rivets, also found throughout the world.

My high school French teacher found this plate in Belgium about 6 years ago and knew I would give it a good home. Thanks Marianne for your keen eye!

Many examples of plates similar to mine are on view at the Seisaam Museum in north-east France.

Photo courtesy of Seisaam Museum

Porcelain plate with peaches & flowers, c.1880

Sunday, January 20th, 2019

There is nothing terribly exciting or special about this small plate, but the rustic repair is impressive. It was made in China in the late 1800s to early 1900s and is decorated with hand painted peaches and lotus flowers in the Famille Rose palette. It measures nearly 7 inches in diameter and has a squiggle signature on the underside.

The 10 small iron bits, 5 on each side of the plate, are clearly visible and add an interesting graphic element. Again, not a particularly rare plate, but these unusual repairs elevate it to another level.

Family platter with kintsugi gold repair

Sunday, June 17th, 2018

Many years ago, Mark inherited dozens of pieces from a large earthenware dinner service made in England by Enoch Wood & Sons, c.1835-1846. The set was previously owned by his grandparents and although I assumed they liked it, everyone else in the family thought it was ugly. I am not typically a fan of multi-color transferware but I love this set, especially the Grand Tour theme, consisting of different romantic European vistas. After his grandfather passed away, it was clear that nobody wanted the dishes except for us. Before we received them, Mark’s uncle Dick extracted some of the pieces and sent one to each family member as a memento, including this small platter, which was sent to Mark’s mother Mary. Sadly, it did not make the journey from Massachusetts to Washington intact. The shattered platter sat on top of Mary’s piano for a couple of years and the next time I saw it, about a year later, a small tube of glue was sitting amongst the broken shards. After yet another year or so, I saw that an attempt had been made to repair the platter and curiously, a metal washer (!) had been inadvertently glued to the front. At this point, I had to take matters into my own hands and asked Mary if I could rescue the platter and try to repair it myself.

I had recently taken a Kintsugi class to learn the ancient Japanese method of repair using lacquer and gold, and felt this platter was a worthy candidate. I used brown urushi lacquer to join the pieces, painted over the cracks with red lacquer, and finally applied real gold dust. The bond is supposedly stronger than any known cement, epoxy or glue.

The Japanese believe in embracing imperfections and I am thrilled to have brought some dignity back to this poor platter. My next project is a HUGE meat platter from the same set which fell off the wall, shattering into dozens of pieces. I’ve got my work cut out for me so stay tuned.

Riveted Chinese Imari plate, c.1760

Sunday, March 4th, 2018

This porcelain plate was made in China during the Qianlong period (1736-95) and measures nearly 9 inches in diameter. It has a central motif of branches and flowers in the Japanese Imari palette of cobalt blue underglaze with red and gold overglaze washes. A fine plate, in my humble opinion, but not an extraordinary example by any means.

But…when the plate is turned over, the true beauty and the reason that I purchased it for my collection, is revealed. 34 small brass staples, seen only on the underside, clamp together the 8 broken pieces as tight as when the repair was done, over 200 years ago. Even though stapling, aka riveting, is the most common form of inventive repair, I still marvel at examples such as this. And naturally, I would proudly display it with the “wrong” side out.

Mounted Kangxi dish, c.1750

Sunday, September 24th, 2017

This porcelain dish was made in China for export to Europe in the middle 1700s. It is decorated with figures in blue, red, green, and black enamels and measures 8 inches long, including the mount, with a diameter of 4.25 inches.

Not only was this dish repaired on the underside using 4 metal staples, each .25 inches long, but a fragment from another piece was added to the ornate bronze rococo mount. Please take a look at an earlier post with a similar porcelain dish and bronze mount: Kanji period dish, c.1700.

 

“Disgrace is Worse than Death” armorial plate, c.1755

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

This octagonal porcelain armorial plate measures 8.5 inches in diameter and was made in China for export to England in the mid 1700s. It has floral decoration in the famille rose palette with gilt highlights and features a prominent coat of arms. It was part of a large dinnerware service, consisting of hundreds of matching pieces, each with the same hand painted decoration.

After this once broken plate was repaired with 4 sturdy metal staples over 200 years ago, it was most likely weeded out from the rest of the set later in its life by an antiques dealer who didn’t want imperfect pieces mingling with untarnished ones. I found the plate at a small antiques fair in London a few years ago and brought it back with me to New York City, where it now coexists with other former orphans, each scarred but accepted for their imperfections.

From Chinese Armorial Porcelain by David Sanctuary Howard, p.539:
“The arms, beneath a knight’s helm, are of Shard of Horsleydown in Surrey, Argent a bend sable, in chief a bugle horn of the last in base a stag’s head couped proper attire of the third; crest, A lion passant per pale or and sable guttee counterchanged, resting the dexter paw on a bugle horn of the second; impaling Clark of Sanford, Azure two bars or, on a chief of the last three escallops sable (see Clarke P22); motto ‘Pejus letho flagitium’ (‘Disgrace is worse than Death’).
These arms were borne by Sir Abraham Shard, of Kennington in Surrey, who died before this service was made in August 1746 (and from whom these arms the helm was probably copied). The service was probably made for his son or nephew or for another descendant of Sir Isaac Shard, whose daughter Martha married about 1710 Roger Hill (uncle of Abigail Lockey, third wife of Lewis Way – see Way with Lockey in pretence, P18).”

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This large serving platter is from the same dinnerware service as my plate. Too bad it doesn’t have early staple repairs.

Photo courtesy of Dubey’s Art & Antiques

Chinese Qianlong plate, c.1750

Friday, April 7th, 2017

This plate was made in China during the Qianlong period (1736–1795) for export to North America and Europe. It measures nearly 9.25 inches in diameter and is decorated in cobalt blue over a light blue ground.

Well over 225 years ago after the plate dropped and a large chunk along the rim broke off, it was taken to a china mender who reattached the broken pieces using metal staples. Hand marked in red on the underside is “Mrs. Lou Pearson”, which I assume is the name of the owner who brought the plate in for repair. Signed pieces such as this are uncommon and bring us one step closer to the mostly undocumented world of the men and women who did these marvelous, anonymous repairs.

French faience patriotique plate, c.1790

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

To commemorate the end of the French Revolution, post-revolutionaries planted trees to celebrate their freedom. This well-used earthenware faience patriotique plate with tin glaze was made in Nevers, France, in the late 1700s. It is made of red clay and decorated with polychrome enamels to emulate Chinese porcelain.  The Liberty Tree depicted here reflects the patriotism of the French.

The underside of this plate reveals even more history, as over a dozen rusted iron staples still hold the damaged plate together after it was shattered more than 200 years ago. Plaster was used to fill the gaps that were left surrounding the tiny holes. To me, the unintentional overall pattern made by the staples on the underside are just as interesting as the design made by the artist on the front of the plate.