Wucai teapot with misplaced handle, c.1690

This early porcelain teapot was made in China in the late 1600s and is a good example of an original form shifting to become current with the next generation. It is decorated in the Wucai palette, consisting of five enamel colors outlined in black and measures 5.5 inches high and 7.25 inches from handle to spout. What I love most about this piece is that by the time the original fixed upright handle broke off, it was replaced with a rattan-wrapped metal handle attached to the side of the teapot. Most likely the break occurred over one hundred years after the teapot was made, which explains why the placement of the new handle is more in keeping with teapots of the early 19th century. This act of altering the original form of a piece is reminiscent of clobbered wares; a practice of painting over simply decorated porcelain with multi color enamels to appeal to changing styles. An added bonus is the presence of long meal staples at the top of the neck, holding together two broken pieces back in place.








This teapot shows what the fixed vertical handle on my teapot would have looked like before the replacement handle was attached to the side.

Photo courtesy of Grays

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5 Responses to “Wucai teapot with misplaced handle, c.1690”

  1. joanne says:

    WOW !!! It’s beautiful.
    Though I feel that I should darn socks.

  2. Gwen Betz says:

    Such an interesting mend!
    A history lesson in every post, too. Leads me to researching all sorts of things on the net.

  3. Lisa Daley says:

    Enjoyed seeing what the original handle looked like. How was the new handle attached? Can you tell from the inside?

  4. Diane says:

    What a charming piece with such an interesting story!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Really fab! Thanks so much for collecting these and sending out the pictures and stories. And a big thank you to the people who bothered to make these repairs. So inspiring!

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