Posts Tagged ‘commemorative’

George Washington commemorative jug, c.1800

Saturday, September 7th, 2019

This large creamware jug was made for the US market, most likely in the Liverpool area of London, c.1800. It stands 9 inches high and is decorated with transfer decoration commemorating George Washington and includes an eagle, American flags, and other patriotic symbols.

Over 200 years ago, someone must have slammed the pottery jug down on the bar a bit too harshly and cracked the bottom. Luckily for me, a skilled tinsmith fashioned a unique patch attached to a band at the base, which helped bring the broken vessel back to life. I hope that if George Washington were alive today, he would be approve of the inventive repair done on his jug.

This jug, identical in form and decoration, shows what mine would have looked like when it was intact.

Photo courtesy of Martyn Edgell Antiques

Toby Jug with tin hat, c.1820

Sunday, July 7th, 2019

Isn’t he a dapper fellow? I bought this wonderful Toby jug from one of my favorite dealers in the UK, who always manages to find unique examples of inventive repairs.

This nifty pearlware pottery jug, which stands 10 inches high, was made in England, c.1820. Toby is holding a jug of his own, inscribed “Success to our wooden wall”, which refers to the wooden ships of the British Navy, protecting the British shores from invasion.

At some point in its early life, Toby’s tricorn hat broke off and its remains were chipped away to make room for a replacement. A skilled tinsmith carefully created a fully dimensional top hat which also acts as a lid. Although chipped, cracked and battered about, our friend Toby looks pretty sharp donning his new, updated hat.

This Toby jug of identical form still maintains his original tricorn hat.

Photo courtesy of Woolley & Wallis

Engraved goblet with Mining Scenes, c.1690

Thursday, January 31st, 2019

This superbly engraved blown wine glass was made in Nuremberg, Germany, c.1680-1700. It stands 10.5 inches high. The large bowl features finely engraved scenes of open-pit mining and a large coat of arms, believed to belong to one of the Counts of Mansfeld. The delicate stem is made up of a series of hollow knobs and rings and amazingly, has remained intact after knocking around for over 330 years. 

The foot was not so lucky. As would be expected of a large, fragile glass object such as this, the original glass foot broke off hundreds of years ago, and was fitted with an elegant hand hammered silver replacement. It is engraved with the name “Mansfeld”, the date “1530”, and in a tiny font “A.E. 12”. As Mansfeld, Germany was the center of silver mining for over 800 years, this magnificent goblet was most likely made by one of the Mansfeld families as a commemorative piece. 

As with almost everything from my collection, we will never know for sure how the piece broke, who repaired it, and what happened to it after it was reborn. I’m just glad that so many of them ended up in my collection and that I can share them with you.

This goblet from the same period shows what the original glass base on mine might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of Scottish Antiques

Small Sunderland jug “Great Australia”, c.1865

Sunday, May 20th, 2018

This small Dutch shape pearlware pottery Sunderland jug, commemorating the sailing ship “Great Australia”, stands 6.25 inches high. It was made in Sunderland, UK, c.1860-1870 and has pink lustre and dark red transfer decoration with over washes of yellow, green, and blue. The other side has the verse: “From rocks and sands and barren land. Kind fortune keep me free. And from great guns and woman’s tongues, Good Lord deliver me.” A nice sentiment, although not quite politically correct.

A tinker in the 19th century created the metal replacement handle with finger grip and a wide horizontal band, replacing the original broken pottery handle.

I purchased this jug and a medium size one from a London dealer earlier this year. Along with a large jug I purchased many years ago from a different dealer in London, I now have a trio of graduating size jugs, each with similar decoration and metal replacement handles. Take a look at the other two: Large Sunderland jug, c.1855Medium Sunderland jug “Great Australia”, c.1865. I promise one day to snap a photo of all three jugs together.

This jug of similar form and decoration shows what the original handle on mine would have looked like.

Photo courtesy of Metropolitan Museum of Art

Medium Sunderland jug “Great Australia”, c.1865

Sunday, February 11th, 2018

This Dutch shape pearlware pottery jug was made in Sunderland, England, c.1860-1870. It has dark red transfer decoration of the sailing ship “Great Australia” on one side and verses on the other side and front, accented with washes of pink lustre, yellow, green, and blue. “Great Australia” was built for Messrs Baines & Co. in Liverpool and launched in Decemeber 1860. Jug measures 8 inches high and 9.5 inches from handle to spout.

The large metal replacement handle with finger grip, thumb support, and a wide horizontal band were done by a tinker in the 19th century. As these jugs were prone to constant wear and tear, it was not uncommon for handles to break off and be replaced. Larger towns and cities had local tinkers but if you lived in a smaller town or village, you would bring your broken household items to itinerant tinkers, who would travel from town to town and set up on the side of the road or in the town square.

I love finding make-do’s in multiples and was thrilled to find this jug, which is one of a pair. Even better, they match a large jug I purchased many years ago with a similar metal replacement handle, making the set, graduating in size, a trio. Take a look at Large Sunderland jug, c.1855 the largest jug I previously posted.

This jug of similar form and decoration shows what the original handle on mine would have looked like.

Photo courtesy of Metropolitan Museum of Art

Character jug with stapled face, c.1924

Saturday, June 17th, 2017

Is this another monster created by Dr. Frankenstein? Not exactly, but it looks like his English relative.

This blue-glazed pottery character jug in the form of British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin was designed by Percy Metcalfe and produced in Surrey, England, by Ashtead Potters between 1923-1929. It stands 7.5 inches high and is boldly marked on the underside and numbered 202 of a limited edition of one thousand.

We will never know for sure if the jug became broken accidentally or if it was thrown in disgust as a result of a disagreement over the political views of the Right Honorable Stanley Baldwin. Either way, four small metal staples were used to repair his broken face. Ouch, that’s gotta hurt!

Three other commemorative jugs were made in this series. Shown here in Pearl Barley glaze, they include Attorney General Lord Hailsham (Douglas McGarel Hogg), British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, and Australian Prime Minister Stanley Melbourne Bruce.

Photo courtesy of Ashtead Pottery

William of Orange commemorative jug, c.1840

Saturday, October 17th, 2015

This colorful soft paste baluster form commemorative jug was made in England around 1840 and is decorated with a figure of William of Orange on horseback, figures showing brotherly love, a crown, flowers and Protestant emblems. It has polychrome glazed black transfer decoration, hand painted flowers and pink lustre trim, measuring 6 inches tall and 7-3/4 inches wide from handle to spout.

After the original handle broke off, a tinker secured the sturdy copper replacement handle to the body using two flat screws. See an earlier post, Inventive repairs at the Rijksmuseum, showing a painting, Prince’s Day by Jan Havicksz Steen (1625-1679), depicting the birthday celebration of Prince William III of Orange-Nassau on November 14, 1650.

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This jug with the same transfer decoration still has its original handle intact.

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Photo courtesy of eBay

Make-do’s at the MET, part 4

Saturday, June 20th, 2015

I spotted this during my last visit to the American Wing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The description in the showcase says more than I could possibly say:

“This extraordinary punchbowl features a remarkably faithful replica of the engraved certificate, dated December 1785, issued to Ebenezer Stevens (1751-1823) by the Society of the Cincinnati. Stevens was a major-general in command of the New York artillery and was vice president of the New York branch of the society. The decorative silver-gilt mount on the rim and around the foot were probably made during the early nineteenth century in response to an earlier crack—evidence of the extent to which the bowl was valued by its owner…”

Punch Bowl
Date: ca. 1786–90
Geography: China
Culture: Chinese, for American market
Medium: Porcelain
Dimensions: Diam. 16 in. (40.6 cm)
Classification: Ceramics
Credit Line: Gift of Lucille S. Pfeffer, 1984
Accession Number: 1984.449

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Sunderland Bridge etched glass jug, c.1840

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

This unusual hand blown commemorative glass jug with applied handle was made in England around 1840 and stands 6-1/4″ high. It features beautifully engraved images including a frigate in full sail under the Wearmouth Bridge in Sunderland, an oval cartouche with “WH” monogram, an elaborate fruit basket, a spray of wheat, roses and grapes. Examples of Sunderland souvenirs made of glass are more unusual than the popular pottery pieces with colorful transfer decoration, overglaze washes and pink lustre highlights.

The Wearmouth Bridge was completed in 1796 but was still being commemorated well into the middle of the 19th century. When opened it was the longest single span bridge in the world. The original bridge was replaced in 1929 and is still in use today.

It must have taken a skilled hand to stabilize the large horizontal crack using just 5 metal rivets. The underside reveals a ground pontil mark, as well as scratches and wear, showing that this jug has been well used. But it’s remarkable that a fragile glass jug such as this hasn’t sustained even more wear and damage over the past 175 years.

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Photo courtesy of The Sunderland Site

Napoleonic War commemorative mug, c.1814

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

I am a big fan of commemorative pottery, particularly ones with strong graphics and bright colors. Whenever I spot an example from afar in a shop, I secretly hope that it has some sort of inventive repair. Sometimes I get lucky. This creamware mug with printed transfer and hand colored decoration boasts the message “Peace of Europe Signed at Paris May 30, 1814.” Made in 1814 by Bristol Pottery in England to celebrate the signing of the peace treaty marking the end of war with France, this mug measures 4-3/4″ tall and 5-1/4″ wide to end of handle. Check out the details in photos showing the Bristol Pottery mark, the factory in the background, and ships with wood crates no doubt filled with pottery for export.

This mug possesses numerous battle scars, including chips, cracks, and the loss of its original loop handle. After the handle broke off, a 19th century tinker replaced it by drilling through the body and attaching a metal replacement with two square fasteners. To add insult to injury, the replacement handle is covered in rust, a result of further neglect. But if this mug were in “perfect” condition, I would not have purchased it.

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This example, with different copy and overglaze coloring, can be found in the collection of the British Museum in London.

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