Archive for July, 2010

Tiny sparrow beak cream jug, c.1750

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

I just picked up this miniature porcelain sparrow beak cream jug last week in Maine. It appears to be from a child’s toy tea service, although miniatures were made for adults to collect as well. This bulbous form jug was made in China during the Qianlong period (1736-96) for export to North America and Europe in the mid-1700’s

Jug is embellished with flowers, butterflies and a bird in orange, brown, black, green and ochre enamel…

…and  stands a mere 2-1/2″ tall, originally with a matching porcelain lid

A tiny bronze handle covered in woven rattan replaces the original porcelain handle, which must have broken off in the early to mid-1800’s

These Chinese export “toy” teawares were also made during the Qianlong period

Photo courtesy of M. Ford Creech Antiques

Admiral Nelson teapot, c.1810

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

A black pottery teapot with relief decoration, made in England to commemorate Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, who died in 1805 at the Battle of Trafalgar. Nelson become one of Britain’s greatest war heroes and many monuments in England have been erected in his memory

One side has a moulded relief vignette of a crocodile, a pyramid and a fort with military devices, surmounted by a banner titled “TRAFALGAR”, surrounded by classical acanthus leaves

Teapot measures 4-3/4″ high and is 10″ long

The reverse side shows a monument with the figures of Britannia and Victory holding a shield inscribed “NELSON”

Remains of black enamel are seen on the side of the replaced tin spout. It was quite common for teapot spouts to break or chip and I have dozens of examples of this type of repair in my collection. I have even seen silver mounts on intact spouts that would have been attached at the time of purchase for proactive protection

A well executed tin lid with turned pewter knob replaced the lost or broken lid. The large chipped scalloped edge remains unrepaired and was most likely damaged after the other repairs were done

This is another, more elaborate example of a black basalt teapot made to honor Admiral Nelson with similar decoration

Photo courtesy of Christie’s

Unusual glass goblet, c.1880

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

This seemingly simple American-made glass goblet is actually a uniquely crafted example of thrift and imagination. It utilizes the reuse of three different broken items: two seperate glass goblets and an oil lamp. The top portion bowl is made of blown glass and has a hand cut “thumbprint” pattern decoration.


The bowl and base are held together with a brass lamp ferrule (the collar that attaches a burner to a lamp base). Goblet measures 6″ high and has a diameter of 3-3/8″.


The three-mold pressed glass replacement base was salvaged from another goblet, making this a tripartite repair job!


Large brass skimmer, c.1840

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Heavy brass skimmer made by an English metalsmith in the mid-1800’s. After many years use of skimming the contents of an iron pot in an open hearth, the skimmer finally snapped off at the end of its long handle

A thick iron patch was attached to the front, using hand forged iron rivets

Skimmer measures 25-1/2″ long and has a diameter of 9-1/4″

A combination of iron and copper rivets were used to attach the “Y” shaped reinforcement patch to the back

“Thee Creswell” hand painted jug, c.1818

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Wonderfully painted soft paste yellow ware pottery jug made in Leiestershire, located in central England

The hand painted pastoral scene in black seems to have been inspired by an 18th century engraving

Hand lettered and dated: “Thee Creswell, Ibstock 1818”

Jug stands 6-1/2″ tall

A graceful tin handle with thumb grip and curled flourishes replaces the original pottery handle, which must have broken off at least 100 years ago

Chinese Canton platter, c.1825

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

This large porcelain platter with blue & white underglaze decoration is commonly referred to as Canton. It was first made in China for export to North America and Europe in the 18th century and production continued through to the early 20th century. It was one of the first stapled pieces I purchased and it has travelled from Canton to London to Miami to Manhattan with, most likely, a few more stops along the way.

Metal patches were attached from the back and bolted though to the front, holding the three broken pieces together.

This large platter measures 15″ x 12″.

Iron patches with visible bolts have become loose over the years, not holding up as well as the more typically used metal staples.

Copper & pink luster child’s mug, c.1820

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Victorian child’s mug features two small cottages rendered in pink lustre slip, sandwiched between a copper lustre decorated rim and base

Mug stands 3″ high and was made in England in the early 19th century

The charmingly naive decoration is appropriate for a child’s mug

It is not unusual to find children’s china with cracks, chips and missing pieces. So when the handle broke off, a “do-it-yourself” metal handle was attached

I imagine you could purchase these clip-on replacement handles at a hardware or dry goods store

Reino Liefkes, Senior Curator of the Ceramics & Glass Collection at the V&A Museum in London researched the patent number and discovered it belonged to Frederick Warren Wilkes of Birmingham, UK. The handle, dating to 1922, was named “Emergency Handle for Domestic Receptacles”. Please check out this post for more information.

Please check out the cup on the right, which has the same patented replacement handle, posted on March 22, 2010: “Pekin” pattern cup, c.1880

This mug, with the same form and similar pink lustre decoration as mine, sports its original unbroken handle

photo courtesy of Eron Johnson Antiques

Stoneware & cobalt slip jug, c.1870

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

American 1-1/2 gallon stoneware jug has an incised maker’s stamp at the top with cobalt overglaze which reads “E & L P NORTON, BENNINGTON VT”, indicating that it was made by Edward and Luman Preston Norton (1861-1881)

Jug, measuring 11-1/2″ high, has a traditional floral decoration rendered in cobalt slip

When the jug was dropped sometime in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s, the cracks on the side of the jug were reinforced by a pair of iron straps

Thanks to Hugh R Fox for providing information on the potter

“Itinerant Dish-mender”, c.1841

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

“Another ingenious and effectual method of mending porcelain and all manner of crockery ware is performed by itinerant workmen, who travel about with their workshop on their shoulders, as seen in the cut. By means of minute copper clamps, even the most delicate article of China-ware may be repaired and made to answer the purpose of a new piece: since no cement is used in this style of mending, it has the additional advantage of standing immersion in water.”

From the monthly magazine “The Chinese Repository, Volume Ten”, 1841