Posts Tagged ‘metal base’

Make-do’s at the MET, part 3

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

Earlier this week I took a stroll through one of my favorite spots in Manhattan, The Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. If the Smithsonian Museum is known as “The Nation’s Attic”, then I’d like to christen the Luce Center “The City’s Yard Sale” as it is packed from floor to ceiling with glass showcases filled with over 18,000 tchotchkes, including Tiffany lamps, Shaker boxes and Revere silver. This impressive collection of the museum’s overflow allows the public to research and take a peek into the MET’s closets. If you look closely among the rare Chinese porcelain and early English pottery you will find dozens of pieces in various states of disrepair including visible cracks, chips, worn paint and missing parts.

Here are some of my favorite make-do’s, all hoping to one day escape the confines of the study center’s curio cabinets and be placed alongside their more presentable friends in the “big house.”

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Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Wishing you all the best during the holiday season and for a healthy and Happy New Year!

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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

Pewter whale oil lamp, c.1830

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

This early American pewter whale oil lamp with squared off acorn shaped font stands a tad more than 6″  tall. Whale oil was the preferred source of lighting in the early 1800s, and was also used for making soap, textiles, jute, varnish, explosives and paint. It fell out of favor by late 1800s as a result of the development of kerosene oil in 1846.

The metal replacement base, made by a tinker in the 19th century, has oxidized to almost the same tone as the pewter, thereby making the repair hard to detect. As a result of the missing double burner atop, this lamp instantly transforms into a unique and quirky vase.

Barrels of Whale Oil – New Bedford, Ma., 1859

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This example still has its original pewter base and double burner.

Photo courtesy of Dennis Raleigh Antiques

Moser enameled glass pokal, c.1890

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

This tall, regal enameled amber glass pokal was made at the end of the 19th century by the esteemed glass manufacturer Moser, in Karlsbad, Austria; today known as Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic. Ludwig Moser opened his first factory in 1857 and soon his artfully decorated glassware found its way into worldwide collections of presidents, popes, king, queens, and Liberace. To the best of my knowledge, this pokal, which measures 15.75 inches tall, was not owned by Liberace. As the bulk of the pokal is quite heavy, I am not surprised that at some point it broke in two, snapping off at the base. Luckily for me, an early practitioner of recycling secured the remaining unscathed upper portion of it to a sturdy brass lamp base, allowing it to be filled to the brim with beer or display an arrangement of fresh flowers.

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This tall amber glass vase made by Moser has its original base intact.

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Photo courtesy of Trocadero

Free-blown glass goblet, c.1790

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

This free-blown conical shaped wine glass with gadrooned bowl stands 4-1/2″ tall. I believe it to be of European origin and made in the late 1700s.

I especially like the lozenge shaped glass bubble “imperfection” on the side, which looks like a microscopic organism.

A crafty tinsmith transformed this goblet in to a tumbler, after the stem and foot snapped off sometime during its early life.

A “witches hat” style tin replacement foot with concave bottom measures 3″ in diameter.

This unaltered goblet with the same design still maintains its original double knob stem.

Photo courtesy of eBay

The New York Ceramics Fair

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

This past weekend I attended the annual New York Ceramics Fair, held for the first time in the ballroom of the Bohemian National Hall, a beautiful Renaissance Revival style building from 1895, gorgeously renovated in 2008 with a striking modern interior.

I enjoyed seeing dealers I had met during past visits to the UK, as well as making new acquaintances with other knowledgeable and friendly vendors. Most were curious about my “unusual” interest in repaired ceramics & glassware but were happy to share their thoughts and insight with me. Although, I was a bit taken a back by an American dealer who was less than friendly when asked if she had any pieces with early repairs. It seems I unintentionally offended her by implying that she might be selling less than perfect goods, which I certainly was not.

John Howard brought a magnificent and rare model of Wellington on his horse Copenhagen. Towering at over 19″ high, this is probably the largest pottery figure made of Wellington from the Staffordshire potters just after the Battle of Waterloo, c.1815.

There are old tinker repairs to the legs which were made some 150 years ago.

An actual horse with broken legs would certainly have been sent to the glue factory. And perhaps the glue would have been used to mend broken pottery pieces.

Simon Westman, a dealer from Grays in London, brought with him two different ceramic items with inventive repairs.

A small pearlware jug decorated in Pratt colors with a tin replacement handle from Staffordshire, c.1800. This jug and repair is similar to my own “Sailor’s Farewell & Return” jug, also with a chipped spout in the same location.

Remains of the broken handle extend over the top of the replaced metal handle.

This saltglazed stoneware teapot with wonderful enamelled decoration was made in Staffordshire, c.1760.

The replacement lid is from a teapot of the same material and period, with an added metal flange to make for a tighter fit.

An unusual blown glass roemer from the Netherlands, dated 1662, was shown by Christopher Sheppard, also from London.

A 19th century pewter base replaces the original ribbed foot, which would have been built up out of glass threads.

This is what the original glass base might have looked like.

An English redware teapot c.1695, courtesy of Garry Atkins, has two inventive repairs.

A silver replacement spout with scalloped decoration stands in place of the long lost redware original.

The broken handle has been replaced with a rattan-covered bronze handle, well over 150 years ago.

Blown & cut glass goblet, c.1870

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

A simple design of vertical panels and horizontal stripes graces this elegant hand blown cut glass goblet, which measures 5-1/2″ tall and has a diameter of 3-5/8″. I believe this to be an American example from the mid to late 1800’s

The tin “witch’s hat” base replaces the long gone original glass foot and stem. As goblets were used on a daily basis by most family members, many became broken and were repaired both at home and by itinerant menders. I have numerous glass goblets in my collection with replaced wood & metal bases in a variety of unusual forms. Please enter “glass goblet” in the SEARCH box to the right to see more 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

“Early Moon & Star” oil lamp, c.1850

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Early American Pattern Glass (EAPG) whale oil lamp in the “Early Moon & Star” pattern, aka “Old Moon & Star” and “Star & Dot” with brass ferrule collar, measures 8″ high

After the original glass base snapped off, a tinsmith created a simple conical form replacement base

The lamp below has a similarly shaped oil font and stands on a metal connector stem and marble base

Photo courtesy of Antique Investments