Posts Tagged ‘Chinese’

Pair of Chinese jugs with silver spouts, c.1720

Saturday, May 23rd, 2020

As I have noted many times in these pages, I love finding multiples of matching inventive repairs.

This colorful pair of Chinese porcelain footed jugs, made during the later part of the Kangxi period (1661–1722), has floral decorations with gilt highlights. They are baluster-form with unusual flattened sides, stand 8 inches high, and were most likely part of a large set of tableware for a wealthy household.

At some point in the jugs early lives, both of the spouts broke off, rendering them unusable. Luckily, a clever and talented silversmith was able to fashion new spouts with lovely engraved decoration, and attach them to the jugs. I can only assume that as soon as the jugs were brought home, they were put back on the dining room table and used again for many generations.

Mismatched Canton trio with large staples, c.1835

Sunday, April 26th, 2020

My cousin-in-law Carol is a true artist with incredible taste. She is equally adept at painting, sculpture, sewing, and just about any other form of art or craft. Her homes have been decorated with a keen eye and filled with beautiful and quirky details. When she found out about my passion for antiques with inventive repairs, she started sending me wonderful examples for my collection.

This trio of mis-matched 18th century Chinese Canton porcelain arrived unannounced a few months ago. Each piece is decorated in the pagoda pattern in cobalt blue underglaze on a white ground. The small tureen measures 7 inches wide from handle to handle and is 5 inches high to the top of lid finial. The small plate, used here as an under tray, is 9.5 inches x 6.75 inches.

I wouldn’t be surprised of these “damaged” pieces were weeded out of a larger dinner service by a dealer who only wanted to keep the “perfect” pieces. The repairs here include 3 large double brass staples each on the tureen and lid, and 3 large white metal staples on the underside of the plate.

Thank you to whoever did me the favor of dividing up the set and leaving the more interesting stapled pieces for my collection. And thank you again Carol for your generosity and appreciation for the unusual and the quirky!

Chinese export tea bowl with staples, c.1770

Sunday, September 29th, 2019

This porcelain tea bowl was made in China, c.1765-1775, during the Qianlong Period. It measures 1.75 inches high, with a 3 inch diameter opening and is decorated in the Mandarin palette, with polychrome enamels featuring a couple on a terrace. 

After the fragile bowl dropped and broke into 3 pieces, it was repaired most likely by an itinerant “China Mender” using 3 small metal staples, aka rivets. Unlike most examples where the rivet holes penetrate the surface about half way, these holes have been drilled all the way through.

I bought this, along with a mismatched saucer, from one of my favorite shops in London and was told by the owner “… we bought this little saucer yesterday with a lovely metal ‘plate’ tinker repair and supporting bar, the bar is etched with little line decoration, I don’t think I have ever seen a repair like this before, it does come with a bog standard riveted tea bowl, we would split them but the bloke we bought them from told me they had been together on his mother’s mantlepiece for at least 70 years, and I am a bit sentimental like that.”

The last photo shows the tea bowl along with the saucer, which I posted earlier.

Chinese export saucer with metal cuff, c.1770

Sunday, July 28th, 2019

This attractive porcelain saucer was made in China, c.1765-1775, during the Qianlong Period. It measures 1.25 inches high, 4.75 inches diameter and is decorated in the Mandarin palette with polychrome enamels, featuring a vignette of 5 figures on a terrace and birds along the border.

The saucer must have chipped rather badly, as a large metal cuff with a 2 inch decorated flattened metal staple covers a damaged area beneath. This unusual repair appears to have been crafted by a tinker, sometime in the 19th century.

I bought this, along with a mismatched tea bowl, from one of my favorite shops in London and was told by the owner “… we bought this little saucer yesterday with a lovely metal ‘plate’ tinker repair and supporting bar, the bar is etched with little line decoration, I don’t think I have ever seen a repair like this before, it does come with a bog standard riveted tea bowl, we would split them but the bloke we bought them from told me they had been together on his mother’s mantlepiece for at least 70 years, and I am a bit sentimental like that.”

The last photo shows the tea bowl, which I will post at a later date.

Small Yixing teapot with silver spout, c.1875

Sunday, June 2nd, 2019

This minuscule red stoneware pear shaped Yixing teapot was made in China during the middle to late 1800s. It stands just 2.5 inches high and has an incised mark on the underside.

Although this tiny teapot looks like a child’s miniature, it was made for adults to actually use. As a result of a tea ceremony mishap, the original spout must have snapped off and an expertly executed silver replacement was made. Further evidence of its intended use is a tiny hole on the lid for steam to escape, as well as a strainer inside the replacement spout.

Take a look at this previous post of mine, miniature Yixing teapot with gold cuffs, the only example in my collection with gold repairs.

And if anyone can translate the mark on the bottom, please let me know!

This miniature teapot with similar form suggests what the original spout on my teapot might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of ChinaHao.com

Chinese mug with double handle, c.1770

Sunday, May 5th, 2019

This Chinese porcelain cylindrical mug with chips, cracks, and a missing handle survived many a battle over the past 250 years, as is evident by its multiple scars. It was made during the Qianlong Period (1736-96) and measures 5 inches high, 9 inches wide from handle to handle. The delicate decoration, including three oval cartouches with flowers and figures in a port scene, is hand painted in the Rose Mandarin palette using pink, blue, green, orange, and brown enamels.

It seems many years ago a tinker took pity upon the poor broken mug and brought it back to life by fashioning not one but two metal replacement handles. Supported by horizontal and vertical support bands, the handles have the remains of the rattan supports and woven rattan coverings. This just proves that although you may be old, wounded, and weary, you may still be able to live a long life with dignity.

This mug, of similar form and decoration, shows what the original handle on mine might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of Bukowskis


Chinese Imari cup with dated silver rim, c.1720

Sunday, April 7th, 2019

This porcelain cup was made in China during the latter part of the Kangxi period (1662-1722) and measures 3.25 inches high. It is decorated with flowers and leaves in the Chinese Imari style and with a palette of blue, iron red, and faint traces of gilt highlights.

At some point in the middle of the 1700s, the cup broke and was brought to a silversmith, who not only rejoined the 2 broken halves using 3 metal staples, but also added a thick silver rim with scalloped bottom edge. The rim is inscribed: “In Remembrance of a Friend,” along with a date “Jan 8, 1766” and monogram “JM.” Sadly the silversmith did not leave his hallmark, but I am thrilled he added the date. Now, if only we knew who JM and his friend were…

This example shows that my cup may have had a matching top.

Photo courtesy of Bidspirit

Rose Medallion teapot with unusual wood handle, c.1840

Sunday, March 3rd, 2019

I purchased this porcelain drum form teapot a few years ago from a dealer who found it at a flea market in Brussels. It was made in China for export, most likely to North America or Europe, between 1830 and 1850. The classic Rose Medallion decoration includes 4 panels of people, birds, and flowers, painted in the famille rose palette of green, pink, blue, yellow, black, and gilt. It measures 5.5 inches high and 9.25 inches wide from handle to spout.

What makes this striking teapot stand out in a crowd are the unusual repairs. To replace the broken cross strapped handle, a hand carved wood replacement with removable brass straps was created, along with a papier mache replacement lid, cleverly incorporating the original pomegranate shaped knob and painted to match the broken original. Quite the curiosity piece, wouldn’t you say?! I have not seen repairs such as these before and can only wonder where this type of work was done. It does not appear to be North American, European, or Continental, so my feeling is that it was done in Asia or the Middle East. If anyone knows more about this type of repair, please let me know.

This similar teapot maintains its original handle and lid

Photo courtesy of WorthPoint

Porcelain plate with peaches & flowers, c.1880

Sunday, January 20th, 2019

There is nothing terribly exciting or special about this small plate, but the rustic repair is impressive. It was made in China in the late 1800s to early 1900s and is decorated with hand painted peaches and lotus flowers in the Famille Rose palette. It measures nearly 7 inches in diameter and has a squiggle signature on the underside.

The 10 small iron bits, 5 on each side of the plate, are clearly visible and add an interesting graphic element. Again, not a particularly rare plate, but these unusual repairs elevate it to another level.

Yixing teapot with rabbit finial, c.1750

Sunday, December 16th, 2018

This unusual quadrangular form, brown stoneware Yixing teapot was made in China in the middle of the 18th century. It has a rabbit finial and measures approximately 5 inches high and 7 inches from handle to spout.

At some point in its early life, the original loop handle broke off and was replaced by an expertly made carved wood replacement. I am not sure if the silver spout was added at the same time as the handle, but it is also an early replacement, most likely done by a fine jeweler or silversmith.

I particularly like the rabbit finial, which has a missing foot. When I was young I was given a rabbit’s foot key chain. I was quite fond of it until I realized, much to my horror, that it was an actual rabbit’s foot! I do hope this little guy’s foot didn’t end up dangling from the end of a tiny keychain.