Chinese mug with double handle, c.1770

This Chinese porcelain cylindrical mug with chips, cracks, and a missing handle survived many a battle over the past 250 years, as is evident by its multiple scars. It was made during the Qianlong Period (1736-96) and measures 5 inches high, 9 inches wide from handle to handle. The delicate decoration, including three oval cartouches with flowers and figures in a port scene, is hand painted in the Rose Mandarin palette using pink, blue, green, orange, and brown enamels.

It seems many years ago a tinker took pity upon the poor broken mug and brought it back to life by fashioning not one but two metal replacement handles. Supported by horizontal and vertical support bands, the handles have the remains of the rattan supports and woven rattan coverings. This just proves that although you may be old, wounded, and weary, you may still be able to live a long life with dignity.

This mug, of similar form and decoration, shows what the original handle on mine might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of Bukowskis

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6 Responses to “Chinese mug with double handle, c.1770”

  1. Shelagh says:

    Gorgeous piece. Love the repair.

  2. Thank you Shelagh!

  3. George Sweeny says:

    Might be of interest to you. Saw it on Ebay

  4. Nice one! Thanks George

  5. Hilly says:

    Is that remnants of reed or bamboo wrapping the base of one of the handles? If so, would the metal originally been covered all over with this wrapping, or likely just the handles? Maybe the ceramic portion transferred heat to the metal from boiling hot liquid, making the handles uncomfortable to hold on to? Or the wrapping was used to make the metal edges more comfortable in the hand? OR MAYBE, I’m just overthinking the whole thing, and the wrapping was simply decorative! ;-D

  6. Hilly says:

    Oh dear. How embarrassing. In my rush to examine the images, I didn’t notice that you had mentioned the rattan wrapping the handles. Sorry! But I am still interested in the possible purpose of the wrapping.
    Thank you,

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