Posts Tagged ‘metal bands’

Early iron metal repairs

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018

Early repairs can pop in unexpected places. For example, last May I went to visit my mother who lives in a small town in the Berkshires. Near her house is the Barnard Cemetery, with grave markers dating back to the middle 1700s, where I came across rusty iron braces holding together broken tombstones. I have seen similar early repairs on stone steps in Florence, Italy, so keep your eyes open for other repairs such as these throughout the world.

IMG_1451

IMG_1442

IMG_1444

IMG_1446

IMG_1449 - Version 2

Mocha ware mug with seaweed & rouletted decoration, c.1800

Sunday, April 29th, 2018

This mocha ware mug was made in England, c.1800. It is lavishly decorated with two bands of brown slip, “seaweed” decoration, and rouletted patterns at the top and middle. It stands nearly 6 inches high.

Strange that even with the sustained damage, which occurred over 100 years ago, the original strap handle with foliate terminals remains intact. The multiple fractures were stabilized by a tinker in the 1800s by adding two metal bands around the top and middle section. The mug no longer holds liquids as it once did, but remains a staunch symbol of survival.

I was thrilled to add this beauty, once owned by author Jonathan Rickard, to my collection. Jonathan writes: “The quart mocha mug came from a Rhode Island dealer whose name escapes me. It was at the Tolland, Connecticut annual show perhaps ten years ago. Like most dipped wares, it will remain anonymous regarding its maker.” Thank you Jonathan, the Rhode Island dealer, and all of the other previous owners for saving this wonderful mug from the trash heap.

Inventive repairs in Prague

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

I just returned from a trip to Prague where I was bowled over by the seemingly endless amount of stunning Art Nouveau architecture, paintings, and decorative arts. Naturally, I was on the lookout for ceramics and glassware with inventive repairs, and was delighted to actually stumble upon a few good examples.

The most interesting ones were hiding in plain sight within the Prague Castle walls at the Lobkowicz Palace, which houses the Princely Collections of paintings, instruments, original musical scores, and decorative arts.

Two pieces of early rare Italian maiolica have what appears to be unexceptional 19th century tinker repairs. One of the jugs has a clunky and poorly painted replacement spout. I am surprised that the repairs found on these pieces were not executed with more artistry and finesse.

Rather than write the captions for my photos, I have copied directly from the English translations found on the glass display cases:

“Examples of a large service from Savona in North Italy, late 17th century.”

IMG_7284

IMG_7292

IMG_7290

IMG_7296

IMG_7301

IMG_7298

IMG_7300 - Version 2

“Examples from an extensive service of maiolica, from the Pavia region of Lombardy, painted in polychrome with scenes of figures and ruined buildings in mountainous coastal landscapes, all within borders of detailed moulded and painted acanthus leaf, flowers and grotesques some with wheat husk edging: Italian, late 17th century.”

IMG_7269

IMG_7274

IMG_7277

Worcester inkwell & quill holder, c.1810

Saturday, April 2nd, 2016

This gorgeous porcelain drum form inkwell with conical reservoir and 3 quill holes is hand painted in polychrome enamels with gilt highlights. Made by Worcester around 1810, it is marked on the underside in red script “Goldfinch / Chamberlain’s Worcester.” It measures nearly 2.75 inches high with a diameter of just over 2.5 inches.

I can just imagine the dreaded day, well over 150 years ago, when this expensive inkwell dropped to the hard floor, breaking into 4 pieces. A skilled tinker or itinerant “china mender” came to the rescue by adding 7 iron staples and a copper band around the top, enabling the inkwell to function again. Putty was added to help seal gaps left along the rim and for added assurance that ink would not seep through the bonded cracks.

IMG_9104

IMG_9143

IMG_9106

IMG_9117

IMG_9107

IMG_9108

IMG_9110

IMG_9114

This is another rare example of a Chamberlains Worcester inkwell, minus the early repairs that mine has.

Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 11.49.09 AM

Photo courtesy of The Saleroom

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

IMG_9147

IMG_9148

IMG_9149

IMG_9152

“Cat Tails & Fern” pattern goblet, c.1880

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

This EAPG (Early American Pattern Glass) goblet was made between 1880 and 1890 in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia by Richards & Hartley Flint Glass Co. EAPG, strictly an American invention, was manufactured throughout the US during the Victorian period, from 1850 to 1910. It is estimated that there are upward of 3,000 different patterns, although closer to 1,000 patterns were most commonly used. This goblet, in the Cat Tails & Fern pattern, measures 6″ high and has a visible 3-mold mark.

After the base snapped off, I am assuming sometime in the early 1900s, an itinerate mender or perhaps the original owner attached a 6-sided brass sleeve to hold the two broken pieces back together. This subtle yet effective quick-fix repair did the trick to make the drinking vessel function again. I like the addition of the tiny red gummed label on the bottom with a cryptic “9999” written in cursive ink, the meaning known only to the original scribe.

This goblet with the same pattern is one of 1,100 donated to the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont, by Dr. Elizabeth Garrison in 1987.

fern goblet

Large toy cannon, c.1890

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

This is the last and largest of the three cannons I purchased as a lot last November. It measures 12-1/4″ long, 4-3/4″ tall and I believe it was made in America in the late 1800s. When a young boy played a bit too rough and broke the toy cannon one Fourth of July in the early 1900s, I imagine his handy dad or grandfather carved a wood base to replace the broken cast iron original, adding embellishments such as paper stars and the letters “U S” to its sides. The barrel, with remains of the original black surface, sits on a metal plate and is fastened to the wood trolley using metal straps. The carved wood wheels are connected to a wood axel with metal pins and a strip of tin edging is attached to the back tail using numerous nail heads. I love the original dark green painted surface with gold trim and alligator finish, consistent on all three of the cannons, suggesting that they were repaired by the same person or at least in the same household. Please take a look at these other two posts, including a small and a medium-sized cannon, which make up the remainder of this terrific trio.

IMG_5440

IMG_5441

IMG_5444

IMG_5445

IMG_5447

This intact bronze cannon with fanciful trolly shows where the inspiration came from for the carved wood base on mine.

bronze cannon

Photo courtesy of Live Auctioneers

Bahima milk container, c.1950

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

A wooden milk container, known as ekyanzi, was made in Uganda, Africa by the Hima/Bahima tribe in the mid-20th century. It measures 9-1/2″ tall, with a 2-1/2″ diameter opening. The wonderfully graphic indigenous repairs, including zipper-like alternating folded tabs to mend cracks, and coin-shaped plugs to fill holes, are made of recycled aluminum. The equally graphic woven covers are not always found with the pots and are collected independently.

IMG_5613

IMG_5626

IMG_5616

IMG_5627

IMG_5628

IMG_5630

A Bahima girl with her family’s wooden milk pots. The lighter colored pots are made from gourds.

JW01-6850

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Chinese Nanking mug, c.1790

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

What a mess this guy is! It looks like someone threw it out of a moving car. This humble porcelain mug with cobalt blue Nanking underglaze decoration began its life in pristine condition over 220 years ago in China and was most likely exported to North America or Europe.

Measures 5″ high with a 3-3/4″ diameter.

The original porcelain handle seems to have gone missing some time ago. The rim appears to have been nibbled at by a porcelain mouse.

Although this mug is riddled with numerous cracks and chips, it will make a splendid pencil holder.

All that holds the mug together now is a single tin strap, added by a tinsmith in the 19th century.

Bits of old fabric strips once sealed the cracks on the bottom. Looks to me like the linen used to wrap mummies.

This mug, clearly in much better condition than mine, still maintains its original handle. But I am sure my mug had a much more colorful life.

Photo courtesy of Antiques.com

Large glass apothecary jar, c.1880

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

This American made pressed glass apothecary jar is one of the largest antiques with inventive repair I have in my collection. It sits proudly on my office conference table, garnering much interest and curiosity from my employees and clients. The many cracks in the glass bowl are held tight with 8 vertical metal reinforcement straps and a top, center and bottom horizontal band, made by a tinsmith in the early 1900’s

The simple globular form is so timeless it almost defies period

The rim is decorated with a molded ribbed pattern

The surface on the metal bands have oxidized nicely over the past 100 years

Jar measures 13″ high and is 9-1/2″ wide

The apothecary jar pictured below has its original lid and has no cracks. It appears to have been made by the same manufacturer as mine, as the bases on each are nearly identical

Photo courtesy of Collectibles Articles