Posts Tagged ‘earthenware’

Delft floral plate, c.1700s

Sunday, October 11th, 2020

I found this colorful tin glazed earthenware pottery plate at a shop in Amsterdam about 6 years ago. It was made in the Netherlands in the 1700s and has stylized floral decoration in polychrome enamels of green, orange, and blue on a white ground. It measures 9 inches in diameter.

After the plate broke, well over 200 years ago, it was repaired most likely by an itinerant repairer. Holes were drilled on either side of the crack and multiple strands of thin brass wire were looped through the holes. The remaining spaces were filled with plaster or a binder of some sort. This is a variation on staple/rivet repairs in which holes are drilled part way through and small metal clamps are secured to the broken pieces. I have found many repairs like these predominantly in Northern France, Brussels, and the Netherlands.

Similar plate with similar crack is in the permanent collection at the Detroit Institute of Art.

Photo courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Arts

Blue & white Spanish plate, c.1870

Sunday, June 7th, 2020

This striking tin-glazed earthenware pottery plate was most likely made in Manises, Valencia, Spain in the late 1800s. It is boldly decorated with stylized trees, flowers and houses in cobalt blue glaze and measures 12.25 inches in diameter.

On the underside is the mark Fv V(?) as well as 7 HUGE metal wire staples, which were attached well over 100 years ago after the plate broke in half. Metal staples/rivets were used in many parts of the world to repair broken ceramics and glassware, ranging in size from less than 1/2 inch to over 3 inches long. Repairs done on tin glazed pottery from Spain, Italy and France typically have larger iron staples such as these.

My plate would feel right at home with this collection at the Museum of Ceramics in Manises, Spain.

Photo courtesy of Museu de Ceramica de Manises

Floral French faience plate, c.1830

Saturday, April 18th, 2020

This colorful faience (tin-glazed) earthenware plate was made in north-eastern France in the early 1800s. The bold floral decoration is rendered in polychrome enamels, attributed to small pottery workshops in the town of Les Islettes in the Lorraine region. The plate measures 12 inches in diameter.

Earthenware is less durable than porcelain and stoneware so it is not uncommon to find tin-glazed plates from this period with early repairs. After the plate broke, a restorer reunited the two pieces by drilling small holes straight through the surface, lacing a small piece of sturdy wire through the holes, and twisting the ends together. Putty or a bonding cement was added to fill the gaps in the holes. Sometimes multiple strands of thin brass wire were used instead of one piece of heavier wire. Other popular types of repairs in the region include large staples and rivets, also found throughout the world.

My high school French teacher found this plate in Belgium about 6 years ago and knew I would give it a good home. Thanks Marianne for your keen eye!

Many examples of plates similar to mine are on view at the Seisaam Museum in north-east France.

Photo courtesy of Seisaam Museum

Dixon & Sons jug with authentication letter, c.1842

Sunday, January 26th, 2020

Here’s a curious one. I bought this English earthenware pottery jug online many years ago and was pleased to discover that it came with an interesting provenance. It stands 10.5 inch high and is decorated in yellow with Chinoiserie cartouche decorations and floral sprays, over glazed with color washes and gilt trim. It has a Britannia metal lid and a bronze replacement handle, as the original one broke off well over 100 years ago. It is clearly marked on the underside: “PUBLISHED BY JA’S. DIXON & SONS, SHEFFIELD, MARCH 1ST 1842”.

I found a letter rolled up inside of the jug from the manufacturer James Dixon & Sons dated 6th July, 1962, along with a sketch. Here is a transcription of the letter:

“Dear Sir,

We readily identify the earthenware Water Jug from your sketch.

Our records show this and similar jugs were being made and sold by us from 1842 onwards. You could assume the date for yours to be in or near that year.

We have in our possession a Jug as yours.

It is not possible to replace the original handle which was part of the jug. Rough sketch of the handle is enclosed.

These earthenware jugs were specially made for using the Staffordshire Potteries and nowadays they are not obtainable. We fitted the covers which were made from Britannia Metal.

You do not say where you obtained your jug, probably from a second-hand source; on the other hand it may have been in the U.S.A. We did in the past years export them to your country. They are today museum pieces.

We trust we have been of service,

Yours faithfully,

James Dixon & Sons, LTD.”

This identical jug shows what the original handle looked like.

Photo courtesy of Worthpoint