Chinese charger with 35 staples, c.1730

This large porcelain charger, made in China during the Yongzheng period (1723-35), measures 13-3/4″ in diameter. The famille-rose palette with predominantly pink colored enamel is made from colloidal gold, a suspension of gold particles mixed into the glaze.

The polychrome decoration of a large tree on a terrace with over-scaled flowers is painted in shades of green, pink and blue on a pale green ground.

After this charger was dropped and broke in to over 20 pieces of varying sizes, an itinerant china mender made it whole again by carefully drilling holes in to the underside of the porcelain and securing 35 metal staples to either side of the cracks.

The disarray of cracks and staples make a wonderful pattern of their own.

These unusual metal staples have a deep ridge running through each length.

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7 Responses to “Chinese charger with 35 staples, c.1730”

  1. Larry Terricone says:

    That is an amazing piece. Where did you find that? We should have a “convention”. So we can share all our treasures. I think it would be a great time.

  2. Patricia says:

    There is something sort of poetic about this piece and all the staples. I’d definitely be displaying the backside rather than the front. Is it valuable?

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Beautiful. I read your post “How did they do that?”.
    But, if you ever give a workshop on “doing it” or hear of one I would love to learn from someone who does it.

  4. Victoria says:

    Andrew and all stapling fans,

    Another super example. I too own many similar items

    If you would like to see how they executed the ancient art form of stapling porcelain buy the excellent Chinese film “The Road Home”. Made in 2001 and directed byYimou Zhang not only is it a beautiful film but it actually includes a scene when the elderly porcelain repairer comes to the village. He tells the owner that the repair will cost more than the item. He then sits down and proceeds to hand drill and staple the treasured porcelain bowl. I was amazed to to see this and I have lent the film to other avid make do collectors. It is a real gem of a film anyway but especially so because of this clip.

  5. Heather Ross says:

    Hello Andrew,
    I am so thrilled to have just randomly found your blog after trying to find some info on the most charming item I just found. A footed Copeland and Garrett Louis Quatorze pattern gilded footed bowl that I cherish more for the other side….. which has the four gilded feet framing the old makers mark of a wreathed crown, the painters reg mark of 6202 and tons of rustic staples keeping the whole thing pinned together! Some simple cotton string that was used for displaying it on the wall is the finishing touch…though I would display the other way around, with staples showing and delicate gold flourishes not! The juxtaposition of the fine romantic scene and the rustic repair is so Wabi Sabi! Would love to send you a picture and get your feedback….best Heather

  6. val says:

    This is wonderful. I love it.

  7. A.J. says:

    Can’t make out how this thing holds together. Guessing it must also depend on a geopolymer glue like sodium silicate (“waterglass”). Looks great though.

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