Posts Tagged ‘lustre’

Copper lustre jug with badminton decoration, c.1830

Sunday, September 9th, 2018

This English copper lustre jug with canary yellow and painted over transfer decoration of a woman and child playing badminton, dates from around 1830 and stands 5.75 inches high. It is not uncommon and I have seen dozens of examples of it in various sizes, all priced affordably.

What sets this particular jug apart from the other “perfect” examples are the inventive repairs. Unable to glue the original broken handle back on, a metalsmith in the 1800s fashioned an ornate replacement and used 2 metal staples to stabilize cracks. I find the metal handle quite pleasing, and am not at all bothered but the metal staples, which can be viewed as badminton birdies flying away.

This is what the jug looks like with its original handle intact.

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Photo courtesy of Martyn Edgell Antiques

Copper lustre jug with blue bands, c.1840

Saturday, March 26th, 2016

This copper lustre blue-banded pottery jug, decorated with polychrome relief birds and flowers, stands 6.25 inches high and 8 inches from handle to spout. It was made in England in the mid 1800s.

After the handle broke off, sometime in the 19th century, it was taken to a tinker who fashioned an overscaled metal replacement handle with crimped edges, and ample finger and thumb rests. The remains of the lower handle terminal were left on the jug so the tinker just went around it when he did his repair.

Copper lustre decorated wares originated in the 9th century and were first made by Islamic potters. Inspired by these early pieces, English pottery houses, including Spode and Wedgwood, developed their own techniques, starting at the beginning of the 19th century and continuing to around 1860. Although highly collectible for decades, lustreware has recently fallen out of favor and can now be purchased for a fraction of what it once sold for.

This jug, identical in form and decoration, shows what the original handle on mine looked like before it broke off.

Photo courtesy of Ruby Lane.

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

Child’s transferware proverb mug, c.1820

Saturday, August 1st, 2015

It’s obvious why there are so many early children’s ceramics with inventive repairs. Before the invention of bakelite and plastic, children used smaller versions of adult sized ceramics, and their little hands could barely hold these fragile vessels, especially when filled with hot liquids. So could you really blame these poor innocents when many a mug, plate and glass slipped away, ending up shattered on the floor?

This child’s mug is clearly titled with the 16th century English proverb “MAKE HAY WHILE THE SUN SHINES” and has brown transfer decoration of a farming scene with a pink lustre ring along the rim. It was made in the Staffordshire region of England in the first quarter of the 19th century and measures 2.25 inches high. After the handle broke off, it was taken to a tinker who fashioned an ear shaped metal replacement handle and support bands. A triangular piece from another cup was patched in along the top to replace a lost chip. In my humble opinion, the repairs add character to this wounded survivor, making it much more interesting than a “perfect” one.

This mug with identical form and decoration shows what the original handle on mine would have looked like before it took a tumble.

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Photo courtesy of Ruby Lane

“Sailor’s Farewell” Sunderland jug, c.1830

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

This small pottery “Dutch” shape jug, decorated with black transfer prints and verses of the popular Sailors Farewell, was made in Sunderland, England, in the early to middle 1800s. Standing 6″ tall, it is embellished with polychrome overglaze washes and pink lustre accents. The front and rim have floral prints and the reverse side is decorated with a black transfer print of the poem A Birth-Day Thought, written in 1809 by Charles Lamb (1775-1834):

I envy no one’s birth or fame,
Their titles, train, or dress;
Nor has my pride e’er stretched its aim
Beyond what I possess.

I ask and wish not to appear
More beauteous, rich, or gay:
Lord, make me wiser every year,
And better every day.

Over one hundred years ago when the jug was dropped, resulting in the loss of the original loop handle, it was taken to a tinker who made a metal replacement. The owner must not have liked the incongruity of the raw metal handle strapped to the delicate ceramic jug, so the handle was painted in copper tones, to help ease the offensive blight.

This jug with similar form and decoration shows what the handle on my jug would have looked like with its original handle intact.

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Photo courtesy of Carter’s

Gaudy Welsh lustre jug, c.1840

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

This type of pearlware pottery “Dutch” shape jug, decorated in the Oyster pattern, was manufactured in England and Wales between 1820 and 1860, although about 80% of the production of this popular form and pattern was done in Staffordshire, England. Standing nearly 5″ tall, it is hand decorated with cobalt blue underglaze and pink lustre, green, and burnt orange overglaze enamels. Although this is not a hard to find jug, I have yet to see one with this type of seemingly simple, yet elaborate inventive repair.

Sometime in the 19th century after the jug was dropped, causing its handle to break into four pieces, a repairer decided to reinforce the broken pieces, rather than create a new metal replacement. The simple loop handle now contains three metal rivets attached through holes drilled at each broken joint, an iron cuff at the bottom, a ring at the top attached to a rivet drilled through to the inside rim, and a splint made from two thin copper wires soldered to the ends and riveted along each joint. I applaud the anonymous repairer who took a different approach with this type of unusual repair and am glad to have the outcome of his creativity in my collection.

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This jug with the same form and decoration has its handle intact.

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Photo courtesy of Ruby Lane

Small copper lustre gravelware jug, c.1840

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

A tiny copper lustre jug, made in England in the mid-19th century, has an applied decorative gravel band at the bottom. It measures just 2-3/4″ tall.

In America, lustreware became popular in mid-19th century. During the Victorian period, a certain dinner party fad was to place lustreware pieces on a mirrored platform as a table centerpiece and watch the glow of gaslight sparkle and shimmer.

Over 100 years ago, a tinsmith made a sturdy replacement handle with two support straps after the original handle broke off. I particularly like the elegant loop the handle makes at the peak, avoiding the remaining broken fragment of the original.

This jug, with similar form and decoration, shows what the simple handle on my perfectly imperfect jug would have looked like before its disfiguring accident.

Photo courtesy of best military watch

 

Canary yellow mug with 46 staples, c.1820

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

This canary yellow pottery mug with silver lustre bands and decoration was made in England in the early 19th century. I recently purchased it from a dealer in the UK who used the “tankard” as his pencil cup. He wrote me “(It) sits on my desk. Only dealers appreciate it! My customers think I am crazy”. I, of course, do not think he’s crazy and it’s too bad his customers did not appreciate it, nor see the beauty in the patterns made by the multiple repairs. It did take a little bit of convincing for the dealer to agree to sell it to me and after I told him “please consider how happy the mug will be living in America with other wounded survivors!”, we agreed on a fair price. I sent payment, the mug arrived 2 weeks later and it has become my new favorite piece!

Measures 3-1/2″ tall, 3-5/8″ diameter.

Every angle reveals more and more staples…

Comical poem printed on the front reads:

“The maltster doth crave

His money to have,

The distiller says have it he must;

By this you may see,

How the case stands with me;

So I pray don’t ask me to trust”

After this mug was smashed, the body was held together with the aid of 40 metal staples of varying size and the handle was repaired with 6 metal bands. It must have been truly cherished by whoever had it repaired.

I love the stylized sunbursts, enhanced by the addition of metal staples, on both sides of the mug.

Large copper lustre jug, c.1830

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

A large copper lustre stout bodied baluster shaped jug from the Staffordshire region of England has a hidden inventive repair. Copper lustre decorated wares originated in the 9th century and were first made by Islamic potters. Inspired by these early pieces, English pottery houses Spode and Wedgwood developed their own techniques, starting at the beginning of the 19th century and continuing to around 1860. Silver lustre, once referred to as “poor man’s silver”, was another popular glaze created during this period and is highly prized today

Jug measures 6-1/4″ tall and is 8-1/2″ wide from spout to end of handle. The unusually wide blue band is curiously devoid of any decoration

The scrolled handle includes a small thumb rest at the top. A dramatic large gash reveals the red clay body beneath the glazed surface

Somehow the bottom of the jug broke or simply wore out. Today if this type of damage occurred, the piece would most likely be thrown out and replaced

A surprising glass patch covers the hole in the bottom, allowing the jug to hold liquids once again. An early form of putty was used to adhere and seal the glass piece to the bottom of the base

This copper lustre jug with a similar form and large blue band is overpainted with a more typical pink lustre decoration

Photo courtesy of Antiques Atlas

Copper & pink luster child’s mug, c.1820

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Victorian child’s mug features two small cottages rendered in pink lustre slip, sandwiched between a copper lustre decorated rim and base

Mug stands 3″ high and was made in England in the early 19th century

The charmingly naive decoration is appropriate for a child’s mug

It is not unusual to find children’s china with cracks, chips and missing pieces. So when the handle broke off, a “do-it-yourself” metal handle was attached

I imagine you could purchase these clip-on replacement handles at a hardware or dry goods store

Reino Liefkes, Senior Curator of the Ceramics & Glass Collection at the V&A Museum in London researched the patent number and discovered it belonged to Frederick Warren Wilkes of Birmingham, UK. The handle, dating to 1922, was named “Emergency Handle for Domestic Receptacles”. Please check out this post for more information.

Please check out the cup on the right, which has the same patented replacement handle, posted on March 22, 2010: “Pekin” pattern cup, c.1880

This mug, with the same form and similar pink lustre decoration as mine, sports its original unbroken handle

photo courtesy of Eron Johnson Antiques