Posts Tagged ‘commemorative’

Masonic creamware mug, c.1800

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

This cylindrical form creamware mug was made by Herculaneum Pottery in Liverpool, England, circa 1800. I am a sucker for bold graphics so you can understand why I like this mug so much. It is covered with black transfer decoration of Masonic symbols and stands 5 inches high, with an opening of 3-1/2 inches.

What makes this early mug so special to me is the sturdy silver replacement handle. Although unmarked, it appears to have been made by a silversmith in the early 20th century. An elaborate silver mounting system was devised to hold the new handle in place by mounting it to a broad plate and attaching it to a rim and base. The choice to mount the replacement handle, as opposed to drill through the body and bolt on a new handle, may have saved the mug from possible leakage and more damage. Typically, I do not polish metal repairs, as I feel the darkened patina adds to the overall appearance of the piece. I like how the tarnished silver is close to the color of the printed decoration, enhancing this clever repair even more.

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This mug with the same form and decoration shows what my mug would have looked like with its original handle intact.

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Photo courtesy of Bramfords

Worcester “King of Prussia” mug, c.1757

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

I purchased this first period bell-shaped Worcester porcelain mug from a dealer in the UK who has been feeding my compulsive desire for antiques with inventive repairs for many years. It has a black transfer print of Frederick the Great, the King of Prussia, along with military trophies, an angel blowing a trumpet, and a putto with a wreath. It is dated 1757 under his left arm and marked RH (for Robert Hancock) Worester and an anchor mark for Richard Holdship (a rebus for his last name.) The decoration was taken from Richard Houston’s engraving after a painting by Antoine Pesne.

This is one of those items that if I saw one in a shop in “perfect” condition, I would secretly wish it had an early repair, as I am drawn to strong graphic images on ceramics. Luckily for me, this one has a metal replacement handle, attached by a metalsmith after the original loop handle broke off, as well as two metal staples to help stabilize a crack.

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During my recent visit to the UK, I spotted the same transfer decoration on numerous pieces of ceramics included in many different museum collections. This jug can be found in the fabulous ceramics collection at the V&A.

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This mug, with similar form, decoration, and its original handle intact, shows what the handle on my mug looked like before it snapped off.

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Photo courtesy of Stockspring Antiques

King George VI & Queen Elizabeth loving cup, c.1937

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

This colorful porcelain loving cup was made by the Paragon China Company in Stoke-on-Trent, England, in 1937 to commemorate the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. The figural lion handles and pastel colors give it a distinctive Art Deco look. At first glance the cup appears to be in tip-top condition, but upon closer inspection you can see all is not perfect for the royal couple. I imagine that after a robust toasting to the King and Queen, the loving cup clanked against a large stoneware tankard and broke in half. Surprisingly, it was not glued back together but brought to a china repairer who applied metal staples to make it whole again. With the invention of new types of glues and cements, developed for use during World War II, civilians were doing their own repairs at home, so by the mid-20th century, traditional staple repairs were becoming obsolete.

It seems that the china repairer or the owner of the cup couldn’t leave well enough alone and tried to mask the repair by painting over the staples. They did a decent job, however, matching the colors of the mug as they painstakingly matched each brushstroke of the pattern beneath.

The broken cup has been restored…long live the King! Long live the Queen! Long live the Art of Inventive Repair!

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Nelson commemorative jug, c.1805

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

This colorful “Dutch” shape jug with transfer decoration and overglaze washes was made in Staffordshire, England to commemorate Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, who died in battle at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. After he was killed by a French sniper, Nelson’s body was preserved in brandy while being transported by ship back to England for burial. Nelson become one of Britain’s greatest war heroes and is memorialized by many London monuments, including Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square.

In 1797 during the unsuccessful Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Nelson tragically lost an arm. The ship’s surgeon, James Farquhar, wrote in his journal: “Compound fracture of the right arm by a musket ball passing thro a little above the elbow; an artery divided; the arm was immediately amputated.” Legend has it that within 30 minutes of treatment, Nelson was back in battle commanding his troops.

It seems this jug, too, has been to battle, as sometime in the mid-1800s it’s original handle snapped off and was replaced by a metal one. The itinerant tinsmith did a fine job fashioning a simple yet sturdy loop handle with thumb rest and small flourish at the bottom, which might have been his signature embellishment. It’s a shame that Lord Nelson couldn’t find a replacement for his own missing arm, as seen by the empty draped sleeve in his famous portrait by Lemuel Francis Abbott.

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This jug, also commemorating the death of Admiral Nelson and with similar form, shows what the handle on my jug might have looked like before it was wounded in battle.

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Photo courtesy of Toovey’s

“John Bull” Staffordshire jug, c.1812

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

A rare soft paste pottery jug with transfer decoration and overglaze polychrome washes featuring a Napoleonic  political cartoon. Made in Staffordshire, England and marked “T. Harley – Lane End”.

Thomas Harley (1778-1832) produced earthenware jugs and other wares in his Lane End (now Longton) studio from 1805-1812. In 1814 he was involved in a meeting which called for the abolition of the slave trade.

Jug measures 7-1/2″ high and is featured in AN ILLUSTRATED ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BRITISH POTTERY AND PORCELAIN by Geoffrey A. Godden, Bonanza Books Inc., N.Y., 1966.

A now rusted metal handle with thumb rest, made by a metalsmith over 100 years ago, replaces the original damaged ceramic handle.

This rare example with intact handle shows what my jug looked like before a clumsy person dropped it.

 

Photo courtesy of Commemorative Ceramics

Admiral Nelson teapot, c.1810

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

A black pottery teapot with relief decoration, made in England to commemorate Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, who died in 1805 at the Battle of Trafalgar. Nelson become one of Britain’s greatest war heroes and many monuments in England have been erected in his memory

One side has a moulded relief vignette of a crocodile, a pyramid and a fort with military devices, surmounted by a banner titled “TRAFALGAR”, surrounded by classical acanthus leaves

Teapot measures 4-3/4″ high and is 10″ long

The reverse side shows a monument with the figures of Britannia and Victory holding a shield inscribed “NELSON”

Remains of black enamel are seen on the side of the replaced tin spout. It was quite common for teapot spouts to break or chip and I have dozens of examples of this type of repair in my collection. I have even seen silver mounts on intact spouts that would have been attached at the time of purchase for proactive protection

A well executed tin lid with turned pewter knob replaced the lost or broken lid. The large chipped scalloped edge remains unrepaired and was most likely damaged after the other repairs were done

This is another, more elaborate example of a black basalt teapot made to honor Admiral Nelson with similar decoration

Photo courtesy of Christie’s

Large Sunderland jug, c.1855

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

This “Dutch” shape pottery jug was made in Sunderland, England, to commemorate the Crimean War. Decorated on one side with black transfer image of “A Frigate in Full Sail”, with overglaze polychrome enamel and pink lustre decoration

Most Sunderland pieces were produced at Anthony Scott’s Pottery in Southwick, Dawson’s Pottery in Low Ford (now South Hylton), or at Dixon, Austin & Co., all along England’s Northeast coast

Jug stands 8-1/2″ tall and is 13″ wide

A faux coat of arms with “CRIMEA” flanked by an eagle and a lion, English and French flags, along with banners that read: “MAY THEY EVER BE UNITED” and “VIVE L’EMP, REUR…GOD SAVE THE QUEEN”

A large metal handle with thumb rest and finger grip replaced the pottery handle formerly on the jug. Small metal tabs are all that remains of the support band seen at the top of the handle, as well as rust stains on the jug’s front surface

This jug with identical Crimean War transfer decoration still has its original handle

Photo courtesy of WorthPoint

Prattware “Duke of York” jug, c.1800

Monday, March 15th, 2010

English commemorative pottery jug, stands 7-1/2″ tall.

Has embossed figures of the Duke of York and Prince Cobourg.

Broken handle was replaced with a basic tin replacement handle.

An original jug showing handle intact.

Photo courtesy of Aurea Carter Antiques

Victoria and Albert jug, c.1840

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

English commemorative pearlware pottery jug from 1840, with transfer decoration portrait of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Jug measures 7″ high and has a royal blue background with hand painted pink lustre and gilt floral ornamentation

A tin handle with thumb grip and strap replaces the original ornate handle, shown here with remaining sharp fragment at the bottom.

The tin strap conceals the royal couple’s identity.

Intact example showing the unmasked couple and original, more elaborate handle

Photo courtesy of Knotty Pine Antiques

Marquis de Lafayette jug, c.1830

Friday, March 12th, 2010

English pottery jug made for export to the American market in 1830, with copper lustre glaze and bat printed black transfer decoration on a canary yellow ground. Attributed to Enoch Wood, an earthenware manufacturer at the Fountain Place Works, Burslem, UK.

The transfer decoration depicts Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834), the French aristocrat and military officer who served under George Washington in the American Revolutionary War.

The front of the jug has a cartouche containing a generic fruit still life.

This impressive jug measures 7-1/2″ high.

The other side shows General Cornwallis resigning his sword to Washington at Yorktown, Oct. 19, 1781.

A tinsmith created this substantial metal handle and bands which replaces the broken pottery handle. Fragments of the original handle remain on the jug, revealing the reddish brown color of the clay.

This similar jug in pristine condition shows what the original, more elaborate handle looked like before it broke off.

Photo courtesy of Live Auctioneers