Archive for May, 2010

Chinese Imari mug, c.1770

Monday, May 31st, 2010

This Chinese export ribbed barrel form mug is decorated in the Imari style with polychrome enamel and gilding. Chinese Imari porcelains are copies of popular Japanese Imari pieces of the mid 17th to early 18th century and were made for export to Europe and North America

Rim is decorated with an alternating diaper & floral spring design

Mug measures 4-3/4″ high and has a 2-3/4″ diameter opening

The replaced silver handle & rim were exquisitely crafted by an experienced silversmith and I only wish they left their hallmark. It is some of the finest silver work I have seen on a repaired item. Porcelain handle fragments enable the new silver handle to be mounted, in the same manner as a crown is attached to the remains of a tooth

This mug, identical in form and decoration to mine, still has its original handle. But it too has been repaired, this time using metal staples to hold it together. There seems to be a design flaw as the delicate handle couldn’t support the weight of the heavy mug…especially when filled with ale.

Photo courtesy of eBay


Pearlware sugar bowl, c.1825

Friday, May 28th, 2010

One of the most unusual repairs I have seen can be found on this early 19th century English pearlware sugar bowl with strap handles. Both sides are decorated with the same cobalt blue transfer decoration of a sheep shearer in a pastoral setting.

Sugar bowl measures 3″ high by 5″ wide.

After a hole bore through the thin-walled ceramic bottom, a clever restorer used a small piece of glass as a patch. An early paper label reads “ENGLISH SOFT PASTE 1770”, incorrectly dating the piece to be about 55 years older than it actually is.

The underside of the sugar bowl reveals a glass patch held in place with putty. Although not an attractive repair, it was probably a quick fix and has lasted longer than the owner most likely anticipated.

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

Chinese export hot-milk jug, c.1770

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Ribbed body ovoid form jug with sparrow beak spout is made of porcelain and has finely painted iron-red & gilt floral and scroll decoration. It was made in China between 1750-90 for export to Europe and North America

Jug stands 7-1/4″ and has sustained much damage over the past 135 years. In addition to the obviously replaced handle, the lid is cracked, chipped and is missing its pomegranate finial

The iron replacement handle is covered in woven rattan, itself in need of repair. There are layers of exposed insulating fabric between the metal and the exterior rattan surfaces

Twine was used to tie the lid to the handle, a practical yet unattractive way of keeping these two pieces from separating

This pot shows what the original handle might have looked like

Photo courtesy of Eldred’s

Spanish earthenware bowl, c.1790

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Tin glaze earthenware bowl made in the town of Puente del Arzobispo, near Talavera de la Reina, an important ceramic center in the Castilla – La Mancha province of Spain. Puenta became one of the most important centers for ceramic production, after being founded in the early 1200’s.

Nine 2″ long rustic iron staples repair the cracks in this bowl.

Green, yellow and brown tin under glaze decorate the bowl’s surface with an abstract design.

Bowl measures 11-1/4″ diam, 5″ high.

Two “Epsom Cup” jugs, c.1850

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Each of these polychrome decorated jugs was purchased separately and in different countries one year apart. Both have the same relief stag & dog decoration and possess a similar metal replacement handle. They were most likely made in Staffordshire, England.

The larger jug (left) has pink lustre decoration and measures 6.5 inches tall. It was purchased in the UK, not far from where it was made.

The smaller jug (right) was found in Maine and has a polychrome flow blue and pink lustre decoration. It stands 6inches tall.

Both jugs have tin replacement handles of a similar design

“EPSOM CUP” is impressed only on the larger jug

These three jugs of graduating size still have their original branch form handles

Photo courtesy of WorthPoint

“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.

Brass candle holder, c.1880

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Solid brass candlestick, made in America and measuring 10″ tall

Conical tin replacement base, constructed by bending a piece of tin and crimping the bottom edge

The base looks as if it were made from a funnel

Another brass candlestick shown with a square footed base

Photo courtesy of One of a Kind Antiques

Miniature “clobbered” teapot, c.1700

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

A tiny Chinese porcelain teapot made during the Kangxi period (1662-1722) combining three of my favorite things: inventive repair, miniatures and clobbering. It’s hard to tell what the original 1700’s underglaze decoration was, as the multi color & gilt overglaze decoration of dragons & flowers extends over the entire surface.

Clobbered in the early 1800s to satisfy the demand for more colorful pottery of the times, this small teapot stands 4-3/4″ tall.

There is a hole connecting the spout to the body, as well as a tiny hole in the lid for steam to escape, confirming this to be a functioning miniature.

This piece has travelled much over the past 220 years, as it was originally made in China, exported to Europe, clobbered most likely in Holland, landed in Scotland with a collector and ended up with me in America!

The replaced metal handle has been painted to match the body. See an earlier post, “Globular Chinese export teapot, c.1750”, with a similarly painted handle.

Typical pseudo Oriental marks were painted on bottom at the time of the clobbering to add “authenticity”.

This miniature clobbered teapot of similar form shows what the original handle on my teapot might have looked like.



Photo courtesy of Grays

“Actress” glass jug, c.1879

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Early American Pattern Glass (EAPG) cream jug in the “Actress” pattern, featuring cameo portraits of Miss Neilson and Fanny Davenport, with their names indicated below each portrait. Pressed, non-flint glass creamer measures 6″ high. Made in Ohio by many glass companies including LaBelle Glass Co. in 1872 and Crystal Glass Co. in 1879. Adams & Co. of Pittsburgh, PA also produced this popular pattern starting in 1880.

Lillian Adelaide Neilson (March 3, 1848-August 15, 1880) was a pseudonym of Elizabeth Ann Brown. She was an English born Shakespearean actress, best known in America for performing the role of Juliet at New York City’s Booth Theatre in 1872.

Fanny Lily Gipsy Davenport (April 10, 1850-September 26, 1898) was born in London, England and brought to America when she was a child and educated in Boston. In 1862 at the age of twelve, she appeared in at New York City’s Niblo’s Garden as the King of Spain in Faint Heart Never Won Fair Lady.

Replaced trapezoid-shaped wood base appears a bit clunky, but allows the jug to function once again.

This glass jug shows what the original base looked like before it snapped off.

Photo courtesy of Ruby Lane