Posts Tagged ‘metal handle’

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

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

Miniature Westerwald stoneware jug with silver handle, c.1750

Sunday, July 29th, 2018

This tiny hand-thrown, salt glazed, baluster form stoneware jug with cobalt decoration was a mystery to me when I purchased it two years ago. I found it in Hawaii, of all places, and the dealer knew nothing about it. The unusual silver replacement handle with a hand hammered band, and what appears to be a coiled snake at the base, threw me off. These details gave off a 70s vibe – more 1970s than 1770s. After a bit of research I discovered I had a miniature Westerwald jug, made in Germany around 1750 and possibly earlier. It stands just 3.5 inches high.

Not all miniatures were made for children to play with. Some were made by potters as souvenirs, while others were made possibly as salesmen samples. As with most pieces from my collection, we will never know how the original handle broke off. But it appears that the original owner must have truly treasured this tiny tank, as it was brought to a silversmith who fashioned a splendid silver replacement handle. Thank you to the unknown artist who transformed a broken jug into a unique conversation piece that has lasted over 250 years…and counting.

This miniature jug, with similar form and decoration, shows what the original handle on my jug might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of ebay

Mocha ware mug with marbled and combed slip, c.1780

Sunday, July 15th, 2018

This wonderfully graphic mug was made in England in the late 1700s. It is decorated with marbled and combed slip in shades of brown, tan, and cream, reminiscent of French marbled paper. It stands 5 inches high and has an opening diameter of 3.25 inches. The metal replacement handle, most likely made by an itinerant metalsmith in the 19th century, has developed a warm patina over the past 150+ years, which compliments the decoration nicely.

I purchased this mug at auction, along with a few other pieces, which were originally in the collection of Jonathan Rickard, renowned mocha ware expert and author of Mocha and Related Dipped Wares, 1770-1939. He says of this mug “The marbled & combed mug came from a British dealer and it originated around 1775-1782 based on wastes from the William Greatbatch excavation.” Thank you Jonathan for your devotion, thorough research, and love of all things mocha.

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

Photo courtesy of Skinner