Posts Tagged ‘metal handle’

Stoneware teapot with flute player, c.1760

Saturday, June 27th, 2020

This globular form salt-glazed stoneware teapot was made in Staffordshire, England, c.1760-65. It has a molded crabstock spout and is decorated in polychrome enamels of pink, green, yellow, blue, and black. I quite like how the male flute player and the female dancing among oversized flowers are rendered. Measures 3.25 inches high, 6 inches wide from handle to spout.

Someone must have been a bit clumsy over 200 years ago, as the little teapot has not one but two early repairs – a metal replacement handle and a metal replacement knob. These are both a bit rustic and most likely done by an itinerant tinker, traveling from town to town to repair all types of broken household objects. Thanks to the unsung hero who helped preserve this charming teapot, as well as the original owners who had to good sense to have it repaired and then pass it on for future generations to enjoy.

This teapot, with similar form and decoration, suggests what the original handle and knob might have looked like on my teapot.

Photo courtesy of John Howard

Alcock “Naomi” jug, c.1847

Saturday, April 4th, 2020

This pale blue Parian salt glaze jug with a molded relief biblical design and a scalloped fitted base was made in Burslem, Staffordshire, England by Samuel Alcock & Co. in 1847. It stands 9.5 inches high and is marked on the underside “Naomi and Her Daughters-in-Law”, along with a British diamond registration mark, dating the jug to 1847. The design was taken from the painting Naomi with Her Daughters-in-law Ruth and Orpah by Henry Nelson O’Neill (1817-1880.)

I have seen more examples of the Alcock “Naomi” jug with replacement handles than any other pieces. There must have been a design and or manufacturing flaw in the original molds, which rendered the handle unstable. Although this jug maintains its original pewter lid, it was fitted with a metal replacement handle and support straps after the original handle broke off, most likely soon after it was made.

It would be fun to see how many more jugs with this design and replacement handles are out there, so please let me know if you have own one or have come across any.

Here are both of my Naomi jugs side by side for comparison. Take a look at my other jug at this link.

At last…here’s what the original flawed handle looks like.

Photo courtesy of eBay

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

Child’s Whieldon style teapot, c.1755

Sunday, November 24th, 2019

They say big things come in small packages and this tiny Staffordshire creamware teapot with double make-do repairs is no exception. It was given to me last year by my friends Abe and Frank, who like me, share a love of 19th and 18th century antiques. I was surprised that they were able to part with it but I’m certainly glad they did.

This teapot was made in England in the mid-1800s and measure 2.75 inches high, 5.25 inches from handle to spout. It is decorated in the style of Thomas Whieldon, with a sponged pattern in dark brown, green and yellow underglaze. It was most likely part of a larger child’s tea set, which might have included a coffee pot, creamer, sugar, cups, saucers, and plates.

It is not surprising that fragile playthings for children ended up broken. I mean, what would you expect? Although this survivor is chipped and minus its lid, it’s a miracle that it is still around after over 260 years. I especially love the double make-do repairs, as a metal replacement handle with support bands and tin spout were added after the original ones broke off.

The original handle, spout, and lid on my little gem most likely resembled those on this miniature teapot of similar form and decoration.

Photo courtesy of Ruby Lane

Mocha ware mug with marbled decoration, c.1800

Sunday, August 11th, 2019

This unusual mocha ware mug with slip marbled decoration against a banded background of brown and yellow slip is the 4th piece I bought at auction from the collection of Jonathan Rickard, renowned mocha ware expert and author of Mocha and Related Dipped Wares, 1770-1939. Says Jonathan: “The very rough mug that defies categorization was found at the Connecticut Spring Antiques Show…about three years ago.” It stands 5 inches high and was made in England, c.1800.

It was not unusual for damaged mugs such as this to be resurrected by local tinsmiths. This one boasts a simple metal replacement handle and two horizontal bands. Thank you Jonathan for your devotion, thorough research, and love of all things mocha.

Small sprigged jug with brass handle, c.1820

Sunday, May 26th, 2019

Good things come in small packages, as is evident by this small but mighty Dutch shape jug, which was made in England between 1815 and 1820. It stands 3.5 inches high, 4.25 inches wide from handle to spout and has a lavender ground with white sprigged decorations including gryphons, cupids, a figural Baccus head spout, a large urn, and a rim border of grape clusters and leaves. Possibly made by Ridgway Pottery but many other potters made this and similar designs.

Over 150 years ago, a clever metalsmith fashioned a simple brass replacement handle. Without compromising the jug by drilling through the side, this practical handle clips on to the broken ends of the jug, much like a crown repairs a broken tooth. While many types of metal are used to repair broken ceramics, polished brass is not one of the more common materials. I find that the warm golden tone adds a regal touch to this small but highly decorative jug.

This jug, identical to mine, shows what the original handle looked like.

Photo courtesy of eBay

Chinese mug with double handle, c.1770

Sunday, May 5th, 2019

This Chinese porcelain cylindrical mug with chips, cracks, and a missing handle survived many a battle over the past 250 years, as is evident by its multiple scars. It was made during the Qianlong Period (1736-96) and measures 5 inches high, 9 inches wide from handle to handle. The delicate decoration, including three oval cartouches with flowers and figures in a port scene, is hand painted in the Rose Mandarin palette using pink, blue, green, orange, and brown enamels.

It seems many years ago a tinker took pity upon the poor broken mug and brought it back to life by fashioning not one but two metal replacement handles. Supported by horizontal and vertical support bands, the handles have the remains of the rattan supports and woven rattan coverings. This just proves that although you may be old, wounded, and weary, you may still be able to live a long life with dignity.

This mug, of similar form and decoration, shows what the original handle on mine might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of Bukowskis


Masonic Sunderland lustre jug, c.1845

Sunday, February 24th, 2019

This Dutch-form pottery jug was made in Sunderland, England, between 1830 and 1860. It is decorated with pink lustre and 3 large black transfer panels depicting King Solomon’s Temple, Masonic symbols, tools and verses. Jug measures 9 inches high and 10 inches wide from the end of the handle to the tip of the spout.

I am a big fan of Masonic imagery on antique pottery, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to find this large jug sporting an unusual repurposed handle. Well over 100 years ago after the original loop handle broke off, a clever tinker attached an ornate handle repurposed from a damaged (I can only assume) metal coffee pot. This is the truest form of a making do: creating one functional piece from 2 unusable broken ones. When you compare my unique jug to the “perfect” example seen in the last photo, it’s clear to see why I gravitate toward the quirky over the expected. There is indeed beauty in imperfection.

This jug, with similar form and decoration, shows what the original handle on mine would have looked like before it broke off.

Photo courtesy of Maine Antique Digest

Porcelain cup with metal handle, c.1800

Sunday, January 6th, 2019

Last weekend I was traveling back from Southeast Asia and didn’t get the chance to wish you all a Happy New Year. The image on this charming cup seems to be an appropriate way to welcome 2019, so Happy New Year…one week later!

This porcelain Bute shape cup has hand painted decoration en grisaille (shades of gray) of a young boy tooting a horn. It has gilt bands around the rim and base. Cup measures 2.25 inches high, with an opening diameter of 3 inches.

Much like a 1980s mullet – though a lot more attractive – this cup is business in front, party in the back. The bronze handle, which replaced the original broken one over 100 years ago, is unseen from the front but clearly visible from the side and back. The underside has a cobalt blue mark, suggesting the cup is Continental or English. If anyone knows for sure, please let me know.

Delft teapot with metal handle, c.1720

Sunday, October 14th, 2018

This Dutch (or perhaps English?) globular form tin-glazed earthenware teapot, dates to around 1720. It is decorated with hand painted flowers and birds in glazes of blue, red, and green on a white ground and measures 5 inches high and 7.25 inches wide from handle to spout.

Over 150 years ago, its original loop handle was replaced with a slightly more elaborate metal replacement handle with thumb rest. More recently, red string was added to keep the handle and lid from going their separate ways.

This teapot of similar form and decoration suggests what the original handle on mine might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of The Fitzwilliam Museum