Posts Tagged ‘German’

German Annaberg jug, c.1680

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

This early black-brown salt glazed stoneware pewter-mounted Birnkrug “pear jug” was made in Annaberg, Germany in the second half of the 17th century. It has incised scaled body decoration of stylized relief palmettes and leaf ornamentation divided by applied molded borders, the front with a figure of Jesus. It is embellished in polychrome enamels and gilding, which have remained surprisingly vibrant after over 330 years. The hinged pewter lid is connected to a ball thumb piece and inset with what appears to be a coin with a crucifixion scene.

As rare as this 10″  high jug is, it is even more special to me by possessing a pewter replacement handle, added by an 18th century tinker, most likely in Germany, after the original handle broke off. The delicate handle, with an intricate stippled wave design and border, is supported by a mounted pewter base ring and lid collar. I first saw this pricy jug at an antiques shop over one year ago and passed on it. But I recently stopped by the shop again and was delighted to find that no one else had snatched it up. After a brief bargaining session with the friendly dealer, I was finally was able to purchase this gem and add it to my collection.

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This jug of similar form and decoration still has its original handle.

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Photo courtesy of Bonhams

Miniature cranberry glass punch cup, c.1890

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

This diminutive hand-blown ribbed cranberry glass punch cup has an applied clear glass handle and polished bottom. I purchased it about a year ago from a dealer in the UK who thought it was made in Bohemia around the turn of the 19th century. Standing just a mere 1-1/2″ tall, it is one of the smallest examples in my collection. It would have been a part of a larger set, including a punch bowl, ladle and up to 12 matching cups. After this cup broke, a tinker very carefully bore eight minute holes through the sides of the glass, using a drill bit covered in diamond dust, and attached four 1/4″ long metal staples. These are some of the smallest staples I have ever seen. It must have taken nimble hands and years of experience to repair this tiny gem.

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This elaborate cranberry glass punch set with gilt decoration, made by Moser, would originally have had a dozen matching cups and an undertray.

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Photo courtesy of Live Auctioneers

German Maskau jug, c.1740

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

This rustic brown stoneware jug with ovoid body was made in the Muskau region of Germany in the mid 1700s. It is decorated with incised stylized foliate against a crosshatched ground above vertical fluting and black glaze highlights. Remains of the original stoneware handle can be seen beneath the metal replacement. It is attached at the top to the remains of the pewter lid hinge and at the bottom using a horizontal metal band, blending in nicely and appearing to be a part of the original design. An additional horizontal band around the neck helps to stabilize the multiple cracks beneath. The original pewter mounted lid went missing long ago, which is not uncommon for a much-used flagon of this age. It measures nearly 9-1/2″ high.

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This fine example has its original handle intact and shows what mine would have looked like before it broke and was brought to the local tinker for repair.

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Photo courtesy of Martyn Edgell

Pierrette clothespin doll, c.1920

Saturday, May 4th, 2013

This unmarked porcelain novelty was most likely produced in Germany around 1920 and measures 5-3/4″ long. Also known as half dolls, they were typically attached to tops of pincushions, boxes and small clothes brushes and displayed on vanity and dresser tops. This one graduated from half doll to full doll, with the aid of a wooden clothespin attached at the waist. I imagine that after the piece broke, a handy dad whittled the lower extremities to form makeshift prosthetic legs. In an attempt to create a respectable outfit for this coquettish lass, the clothespin legs were covered in now faded pink cloth tape, the duct tape of its day. Wouldn’t it be great if this immobile doll ended up in a doll house, filled with inventively repaired miniature furnishings and inhabitants, including a make-do Pierrot?

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This lovely lady sits atop a powder box and still has her original porcelain legs.

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Photo courtesy of LiveJournal

Eva Zeisel majolica teapot, c.1929

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

This boldly painted, hard to find teapot was designed by no other than Eva Zeisel, who worked for Majolika Fabrik in Schramberg, Germany. She arrived in the small Black Forest town in the fall of 1928 and left nearly two years later in the spring of 1930, creating nearly 200 brightly colored pottery objects of Art Deco inspired design. This lightweight pottery teapot measures 7-1/2″ tall and is 8-3/4″ wide from handle to spout.

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I am not surprised that this fragile teapot did not remain unscathed over the past 84 years, as the low fired clay is susceptible to breakage. A large broken piece at the top of the pot has been reapplied, aided by three large metal staples, each measuring nearly 3/4″ long. To help camouflage this none-too-subtle repair, the staples were overpainted in matching tones, with only traces of color remaining. To add insult to injury, the top  portion of the handle, once broken off, has been riveted back on to the body. Tightly woven rattan envelopes the entire handle and the lower portion of the teapot, although I am not sure if this is was a later addition. Original or not, the basket-like embellishment adds another layer of quirkiness to this most desirable vessel.

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The stamped mark on the bottom reads: Majolika, SMF (contained within a shield), Schramberg Handyemalt, 64.

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Photo courtesy of Kulturprojekte Berlin

These are more examples of majolica designed by Eva Zeisel during her years in Schramberg, Germany

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An early photograph of Eva Zeisel in her studio, c. 1930.

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Photos courtesy of John Foster

“Dragons in Compartments” cup & saucer, c.1800

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

This fine, lightweight porcelain cup & saucer set was made in Dresden, Germany in the late 18th century. It is hand decorated with polychrome enamels and gold highlights in the wonderfully stylized “Dragons in Compartments” pattern, also known as the “Bengal Tiger”, “Kylin” or “Bishop Sumner” pattern . At one point in its early life, someone sipping an expresso was so scared by the fierce dragons depicted on the sides that it was dropped and broke into 3 pieces. Gathering the broken shards and somehow finding the strength to face the fierce fire breathing monsters again, the brave soul brought the broken cup to a tinker, who was able to restore it, using metal staples. The intact saucer measures 4-1/2″ in diameter and I would have much preferred if it too were repaired with staples!

This li’l dragon seems to be smoking a stogie, which is actually a metal staple keeping him in one piece.

There are 8 tiny staples on the outside and one on the inside, once overpainted to mask the repair.

Cup measures 2″ in diameter and stands 2″ high.

Isn’t this the cutest, non-threatening dragon you have ever seen? To me it looks more like a super-hero kitten sporting a purple cape with green fringe.

Both the cup and saucer are mark on the bottom in blue “Made at Dresden”.

 

The New York Ceramics Fair, 2012

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

On Wednesday of this past week I bundled up and made my annual journey northeast to The New York Ceramics Fair, located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Each year at this time I look forward to attending the event and have been doing so since 2004. It’s always a pleasure to see the dealers and to drool over their fabulous merchandise, hoping that I will see some wonderful examples of inventive repair.

Leon-Paul van Geenen brought this amazing 17th century Dutch or German roemer with jaw dropping repairs.

Two brass palette-shaped plates, convex on the outside and concave on the inside, have been riveted together to conceal a large hole in the center.

The inside of the goblet shows the hammered ends of the rivets holding the plates in place.

The stem also has a unique repair; a plate with initials and a date of 1718, most likely the date of the repair and the initials of the restorer.

This is an example of a roemer without repairs, and in my mind, the less interesting of the two!

Another example of inventive repair brought by Mr. van Geenen is this small stoneware jug made in Sieburg, Germany.

The jug has three molded figural medallions, the center one with a man’s face and a date of 1595.

But what interests me the most is a lead plug with an incised cross, sealing a small hole on the side of the jug. I have not seen this type of simple yet effective repair before and will now be on the lookout to find other examples.

Blown glass goblet, c.1850

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Simply shaped thick-walled goblet of hand blown glass, possibly made in Germany and used for drinking beer, measures 5-1/4″ high.

A well made unpainted round tin base replaces the broken glass base, created by a skilled tinsmith in the late 1800’s.

Similar shaped glass goblet show with a trumpet shaped stem.

Photo courtesy of eBay

German doll head pen wiper, c.1900

Monday, May 17th, 2010

What do you do when a bisque doll’s body breaks? Naturally you turn the unbroken doll head in to a pen wiper! At least that is exactly what someone did in the early 1900’s to recycle a broken toy.

Unmarked German bisque doll head with a human hair wig, stationary glass eyes, painted lashes, eyebrows & mouth

Home made pen wipers were common household items and were used to remove excess ink from dip pens. Once the ink was on the page, a paper blotter was used to soak in the excess ink so it would not smear. This pen wiper measures 3-1/2″ tall

Below is an illustration from a Victorian craft book, showing how to make a decorative pen wiper, with the following description: “Girls are always trying to find something which they can make to delight their papas, and a gay little pen-wiper with fresh uninked leaves rarely comes amiss to a man who likes an orderly writing-table”

Photo courtesy of KnitHeaven

Meissen style trinket box, c.1890

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

I found this oddity in a gift shop in Provencetown, MA and thought it was so ugly I almost didn’t buy it. But the “beauty” of this repair is that the entire lower portion of the covered box that was lost, has been lovingly recreated out of wood.

The back view of the wine barrel-shaped box, which measures 7-3/4″ high and 6-1/2″ long, shows great skill and detail.

Matching the faux woodgrain on the porcelain top, a craftsman painted the replaced wooden bottom to look like porcelain, which had already been painted to look like wood!

Wonderful details include this minutely carved spigot.

The porcelain figure on top of my trinket box…

is very similar to this c. 1800 Meissen porcelain figure of a boy holding grapes

Photo courtesy of M. S. Rau Antiques