Posts Tagged ‘miniature’

Tiny Chinese Imari teapot, c.1700

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

Though this octagonal-shaped Chinese porcelain teapot from the Kangxi period (1662-1722) appears to be a miniature, it is indeed a functioning vessel. Tea was only for the wealthy in the late 17th century; brewed in highly concentrated batches in tiny teapots and consumed in small amounts. This fine example, which stands nearly 4″ high, has cobalt blue underglaze decoration with iron red and gilt detailing. The remains of the original porcelain spout have been replaced by a much smaller silver cap, most likely in Amsterdam in the 1800s. As a precaution against loss, the lid has been shackled to the handle using a fine-link chain. This embellishment may have been added at the same time as the replacement spout.

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This nearly identical teapot with the same form, size and decoration as mine shows what the original spout looked like before the addition of the silver replacement.

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Photo courtesy of Pater Gratia Oriental Art

Small toy cannon, c.1880

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

I hit the jackpot this past November while visiting friends in southern Vermont for the Thanksgiving holiday. On “Black Friday”, my dear friend Hilary and I ventured out to visit a few local antiques shops when I stumbled upon a set of three toy cannons, graduating in size, and each with a unique inventive repair.

This little gem, the smallest of the three, measures 3-1/2″ long and is 1-1/2″ tall. The tiny cast brass barrel, with its lovely green patina, is set in to the simple, yet effective, replacement base carved from a small block of wood, and held in place by two metal loops.

I particularly like the the three steps in the back and how the top of the wooden base was carved out in the exact shape of the cannon’s barrel so it would fit snugly in place. The dark greenish-brown painted surface remains mostly intact but shows some wear due, no doubt, to endless hours of battles played out in the safe confines of a patriotic young boy’s back yard. These toy cannons might have been manufactured in 1876, to help commemorate America’s centennial.

I will be posting the other two cannons from the same lot in the coming months, so be on the lookout. And please take a look at another small toy cannon, with a much cruder home-made repair, previously posted in these pages.

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This toy cast iron ship’s signal cannon from the early 1800s shows what the original base on my cannon might have looked like.

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Photo courtesy of Land and Sea Collection

Derby porcelain ointment box, c.1905

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

This tiny porcelain ointment box was made in England by Royal Crown Derby in the early 1900s. Standing a mere 1″ tall and with a diameter of 1-3/4″, it is one of the smallest antiques with inventive repairs I own. It is nicely hand decorated in the Imari pattern with classic cobalt blue, red and gilt enamels. The “V” mark on the bottom of both the lid and base dates this wee box to 1905. The underside of the lid reveals three metal staples, graduating in size from 1/4″ to 3/8″ long, which hold the two broken halves tightly together.

 

Miniature Davenport watering can, c.1860

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

English porcelain miniature watering can made by Davenport in the mid-1800s. Finely painted with multicolor floral and scrollwork design with gilt accents. Measures 2-3/4″ high to tip of moth form lid finial and is 3-1/2″ wide from end to end. Stamped in red with DAVENPORT in a banner with an anchor, dating it from 1850 to 1870. Three brass staples on the handle, with the aid of some sloppily applied glue, hold the three broken pieces back together again.

Miniature pearlware ladle, c.1840

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

English miniature soft paste pottery pearlware ladle from set of child’s dishes, measuring 3-3/4″ long and dating from the early to middle 1800s. The two broken halves are bound together by a criss cross of thin brass wire woven through 2 tiny holes on either side of the break. Small dabs of cement in each hole help secure the repair.

I pity the small child who briefly lost the use of their ladle during what might have been a fantasy feast. And I applaud the person who came to the rescue, making the two broken pieces whole again, thus allowing the imaginary dinner party to continue!

 

Child’s pearlware teapot, c.1790

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Miniature pearlware pottery child’s teapot made in England in the late 1700’s. With cobalt blue underglazed “Chinese House” decoration, derived from English Chinoiserie pieces rather than actual Chinese ornamentation.

I am surprised I have not come across more examples of miniatures and children’s items with inventive repairs, as I would imagine that slippery little fingers would surely have caused many a fragile toy to break. I just hope the children who damaged these items were not punished too severely.

Teapot measures 2-1/2″ high and was most likely made in Staffordshire between the years 1780 and 1800.

The simple loop handle which broke off over one hundred years ago, was replaced with a sturdy tin replacement with crimped edges and an upper support band by an itinerant tinsmith, look at the wild thing review. The top portion of the original handle was not ground down and still remains.

Provenance sticker: Roger Bacon Collection, Skinner auction Sept. 23-24, 1982.

This similarly shaped and decorated child’s teapot of the same size still has its original handle and an intact lid.

Photo courtesy of De Porcelijne Lampetkan

Tiny sparrow beak cream jug, c.1750

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

I just picked up this miniature porcelain sparrow beak cream jug last week in Maine. It appears to be from a child’s toy tea service, although miniatures were made for adults to collect as well. This bulbous form jug was made in China during the Qianlong period (1736-96) for export to North America and Europe in the mid-1700’s

Jug is embellished with flowers, butterflies and a bird in orange, brown, black, green and ochre enamel…

…and  stands a mere 2-1/2″ tall, originally with a matching porcelain lid

A tiny bronze handle covered in woven rattan replaces the original porcelain handle, which must have broken off in the early to mid-1800’s

These Chinese export “toy” teawares were also made during the Qianlong period

Photo courtesy of M. Ford Creech Antiques

Miniature “clobbered” teapot, c.1700

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

A tiny Chinese porcelain teapot made during the Kangxi period (1662-1722) combining three of my favorite things: inventive repair, miniatures and clobbering. It’s hard to tell what the original 1700’s underglaze decoration was, as the multi color & gilt overglaze decoration of dragons & flowers extends over the entire surface.

Clobbered in the early 1800s to satisfy the demand for more colorful pottery of the times, this small teapot stands 4-3/4″ tall.

There is a hole connecting the spout to the body, as well as a tiny hole in the lid for steam to escape, confirming this to be a functioning miniature.

This piece has travelled much over the past 220 years, as it was originally made in China, exported to Europe, clobbered most likely in Holland, landed in Scotland with a collector and ended up with me in America!

The replaced metal handle has been painted to match the body. See an earlier post, “Globular Chinese export teapot, c.1750”, with a similarly painted handle.

Typical pseudo Oriental marks were painted on bottom at the time of the clobbering to add “authenticity”.

This miniature clobbered teapot of similar form shows what the original handle on my teapot might have looked like.

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Photo courtesy of Grays

Child’s pearlware tea set, c.1820

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Little girls were given fragile miniature tea sets such as this one, to practice their homemaking skills and to prepare themselves to become good wives, mothers and hostesses. This drabware soft past pottery set from the early 1800’s was made in England.

The teapot, with replacement metal handle & strap, measures 3-1/2″ tall.

I feel badly for the little girl who accidently broke the teapot, but I am glad her parents took it to their local tinsmith to be repaired, so it could one day end up in my collection.

Miniature salt glaze stoneware jug, c.1840

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

I love miniatures and was really excited to find this tiny two-toned floral sprigged pottery jug, made in Derbyshire, England in the mid-1800’s.

This little jug stands a mere 2″ tall and is made of stoneware with a salt glazed finish, which was fired at a high temperature to insure a glass-like, non-porous surface.

The original handle was replaced with an over scaled tin handle & strap, looking a bit out of proportion on this small jug.

This is what the original jug handle might have looked like had it not broken off.

Photo courtesy of eBay