“Jack of All Trades”, c.1812

“Men of this description are in China termed Fia-Con-Culk-Tziang; they practise every kind of occupation; they mend porcelain, repair locks, and solder pipes. They have a portable forge, anvil, furnace, coal, and all sorts of tools. The whole of this baggage is suspended to a bamboo cane; the anvil alone occupies one side to counterpoise the rest.”

“The china-menders are said to be far superior to our menders of earthen-ware; the reason of this is, that, working on a more valuable material, and making a higher charge, they take more pains with it; their piercer, instead of being iron, like that of our stall gentry, has a diamond point; extremely fine brass wire is passed through the holes, and the vessel, for use, is as good as ever”

For a more detailed account on the art of staple repair, see my blog entry “How did they do that?” from 5/12/10

From the book “China: It’s Costume, Arts, Manufacturers &c, Volume 3” by Breton (Jean Baptiste Joseph, M.), published in 1812

Leave a Reply