Teapot signed “Coombs China Burner”, c.1780

This Chinese export porcelain drum-form teapot was made during the Qianlong Dynasty (1736-1795) and has a divided entwined handle with molded leaves and flowers at terminals, along with a molded berry with leaves shaped finial on the lid. It was decorated for the European market in the Famille Rose palette with floral sprays and blue ribbons, and measures 5.25 inches high, 10.25 inches wide from handle to spout.

At first glance this sturdy teapot looks a bit out of place on these pages of ceramics and glassware, mostly riddled with obvious repairs. But in fact, the spout was repaired in the late 1700s in a most inventive way by a china burner in Bristol, UK. Painted in red on underside is “Coombs, China Burner, Queens Street, Bristol”. Coombs fused the broken spout to the teapot by refiring the pot with glass silica. His calling card (last image) boasts “Burns all sorts of foreign china, such as dishes, plates, bowls…teapots, boats, coffee pots, mugs, etc. Likewise, rivets and rims, china bowls and glasses in the neatest manner.” What’s thrilling about Coombs’ work is that his pieces are signed, unlike most other repaired items which remain anonymous. I have a few more signed pieces repaired by Coombs, which I will post in the future.

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6 Responses to “Teapot signed “Coombs China Burner”, c.1780”

  1. Joanne Hendricks says:

    Fantastic information about the repair and a great piece of ephemera

  2. Leslie LeFevre-Stratton says:

    How interesting!

    Thank you for posting this, Andrew

  3. Sally Starr says:

    Remember this one? Not a paper label but written under the glaze.

    Mid 18th century Chinese Export teapot with 19th cenury make-do repair to handle. Globular shape with embossing on spout, small design of basket of flowers. 5″ tall to top of lid. Circa 1740-1760.Writing on bottom says,”Combes, Queen St, Bristol, 1789.”


  4. Kim Barrett says:

    How wonderful to have the additional information!
    I wish Coombs was still about to fix up indifferently-pouring teapots.

  5. Carol Thosath says:

    So intriguing!!! Wonderful!!!

  6. Thank you Joanne, Leslie, and Carol!

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