Chinese bowl with metal bands, c.1800

This porcelain bowl was made in China during the Jiaqing period (1796-1820) and measures 2-3/4″ tall, 6-7/8″ in diameter. It is decorated with scrolling lotus blossoms in cobalt blue underglaze “pencil drawn” decoration, a style using cross hatched lines instead of color washes to show shading. It has a blue seal mark on the bottom, as well as an early collector’s inventory label.

At first glance this fine bowl appears unscathed, dare I say “perfect,” showing no noticeable sign of damage or repair. But upon closer inspection, one can see a subtle yet most effective inventive repair. Over 150 years ago when the bowl dropped and broke in half, two simple bronze bands were attached, one along the top rim and the other encircling the base, holding the broken pieces tightly together. Due to the exceptional quality of the repair, I believe a skilled 19th century jeweler was responsible for this delicate work, as the top band’s thickness is an incredible 2/16″ with invisible seams. But most amazingly, not a drop of glue was used to mend this bowl.


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2 Responses to “Chinese bowl with metal bands, c.1800”

  1. Marie-Hélène says:

    Très elaboré, magnifique ! very fine

  2. Cheryl Lynn Bruce says:

    Well, I did not see one thing wrong with that lovely bowl, and wondered what had caused it to land in your collection. Then I read on and began to scour it for the telltale hairline crack.
    Yes, it surely must have been a fine jeweler who mended it so expertly. Kudos all around!

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