Posts Tagged ‘porcelain’

Rose Mandarin mosaic bowl, c.1900

Sunday, July 10th, 2022

In some cases, broken ceramics were beyond preservation or repair. But thanks to our thrifty ancestors, fragments of shattered plates were sometimes formed into mosaic and memory ware pieces, such as this Rose Medallion display bowl. Although this is more of a mosaic, true memory ware pieces are made from everyday household objects, including ceramic shards, glass and mirror fragments, buttons, beads, jewelry, shells, pipes, and doll parts. One of my favorite memory ware vessels is covered in unusual items such as glass doll eyes, a tiny glass jar, and a working thermometer!

This colorful example of recycling was made from broken Chinese and English porcelain and pottery shards attached to a shallow brass bowl. It measures 13 inches in diameter, 3 inches high. The overall effect suggests a plate with large figures in the center surrounded by a darker floral border. But look closely and you will find a variety of fragments featuring flowers, insects, and even a maker’s mark.

This whimsical contemporary jug was made by Lisa Rauter using antique ceramic shards and other found items.

Photo courtesy of flickr

Chinese mug with small face, c.1780

Sunday, June 26th, 2022

This cylindrical porcelain mug was made in China for export during the Qianlong Period (1736-1795.) It is painted in the Famille Rose palette, has front circle decoration with a small face, and measures 5.25 inches high.

Well over 150 years ago, a bronze replacement handle with wrapped rattan replaced the original broken entwined strap handle. In addition to the tiny face decoration, I particularly like the elaborate and large floral terminals and glad they remain intact.

Parian jug with ornate handle, c.1850

Sunday, March 6th, 2022

This unglazed Parian porcelain cream jug measures 3.5 inches high and is decorated with a molded relief design of water nymphs. Although I believe it was made in the mid-1800s, it has a later Art Nouveau feel to it. It is marked on the underside with the incised number 463.

There’s no doubt this is a lovey little jug, but it would be nothing without its ornate replacement handle, added after the original broke off. Typically I find small jugs such as this with simple metal tinker-make handles, so I was surprised to see such a fancy replacement. I appreciate the ingenuity of the repairer for attaching the top part of the new handle over the remains of the broken original and adding a band around the base, rather than drilling though the jug. Even though the original handle was much smaller than the replacement (see last photo), I much prefer the juxtaposition of the two material mashed up together on my unique jug.

Here’s an example of the jug with its original handle intact.

Photo courtesy of eBay

James Giles decorated teapot, c.1760

Sunday, February 13th, 2022

This small white porcelain teapot has traveled the world since it was first produced in China in the mid-1700s. Soon after it was made, it travelled by cargo ship to London where it was decorated with flowers in polychrome enamels at the James Giles Workshop, circa 1755-1765. I purchased the teapot a few years ago from an antiques dealer in Virginia and now it resides in New York. It measures nearly 5.5 inches high, 7.5 inches from handle to spout.

You all must know by now that the reason I purchased this lovely teapot is because of the make-do repair. After the original spout broke off, over 200 years ago, a jeweler attached an elegant silver replacement. Repairs such as this are not uncommon, and I image jewelers kept a stock of silver spouts ready for action for when the inevitable happened.

This teapot with similar form and decoration by James Giles suggests what the original spout on my teapot would have looked like.

Photo courtesy of eBay

Lowestoft pearlware jug, c.1780

Sunday, January 23rd, 2022

I spotted this diminutive pear-shaped sparrow beak cream jug in an antiques shop in Dublin, Ireland in 2015. It is decorated with the Pagoda and Trees pattern, hand rendered in cobalt blue underglaze. A delicate lattice border embellishes the inside rim. Made in England by the Lowestoft factory around 1775-1785, the jug stands 3 inches high and has an incised number 4 on the underside.

After the original handle broke off over 200 years ago, a tinker made a metal replacement supported with horizontal and vertical straps, much like an iron girdle. Although the small but mighty jug is in poor condition, I felt compelled to rescue it and bring it back to America, where it now lives among friends with similar battle scars. 

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

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Photo courtesy of English Porcelain Online

Chinese teapot with puce flowers and metal handle, c.1760

Sunday, November 21st, 2021

This globular teapot with puce floral enamel decoration and orange bands was made in China in the middle to late 1700s. It measures 5.5 inches high, 7.5 inches from handle to spout. At some point in its early life, the handle broke off and a bronze replacement, with the remains of rattan wrapping, was attached. Most teapots I find have one form or another of metal handle protection to help insulate delicate hands from the hot contents. Many examples in my collection have intricately woven patterns using more than one color of rattan, and I imagine the customer would have been charged more for these finer artistic flourishes.

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

Photo courtesy of Hampshire Cultural Trust

Chelsea porcelain red anchor mug, c.1755

Sunday, October 31st, 2021

This bell-shaped Chelsea porcelain mug was made in England between 1752 and 1756. The superbly painted polychrome floral decoration was no doubt inspired by similar examples made by Meissen. A red anchor mark can be found on the underside.

At one point in the mugs early life, the original loop handle broke off and a metal replacement was attached. The simplicity and delicacy of the new handle, as well as the rich bronze color, make this mug even more appealing to me than if the original handle was still intact.

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

Photos courtesy of Scottish Antiques

Teapot signed “Coombs China Burner”, c.1780

Sunday, July 25th, 2021

This Chinese export porcelain drum-form teapot was made during the Qianlong Dynasty (1736-1795) and has a divided entwined handle with molded leaves and flowers at terminals, along with a molded berry with leaves shaped finial on the lid. It was decorated for the European market in the Famille Rose palette with floral sprays and blue ribbons, and measures 5.25 inches high, 10.25 inches wide from handle to spout.

At first glance this sturdy teapot looks a bit out of place on these pages of ceramics and glassware, mostly riddled with obvious repairs. But in fact, the spout was repaired in the late 1700s in a most inventive way by a china burner in Bristol, UK. Painted in red on underside is “Coombs, China Burner, Queens Street, Bristol”. Coombs fused the broken spout to the teapot by refiring the pot with glass silica. His calling card (last image) boasts “Burns all sorts of foreign china, such as dishes, plates, bowls…teapots, boats, coffee pots, mugs, etc. Likewise, rivets and rims, china bowls and glasses in the neatest manner.” What’s thrilling about Coombs’ work is that his pieces are signed, unlike most other repaired items which remain anonymous. I have a few more signed pieces repaired by Coombs, which I will post in the future.

Chinese mug with metal & rattan handle, c.1785

Friday, July 2nd, 2021

I purchased this cylindrical form porcelain mug at auction last year, along with many lots of mugs, teapots, jugs, goblets, and oil lamps. As a result of my forced hiatus from work due to the pandemic, I was able to leisurely research and catalog the 50+ new pieces to my collection. This pretty mug in the Famille Rose palette has floral swag and tassel decoration in pink, purple, green, and orange. It was made in China during the Qianlong period (1736-95) and stands 4.5 inches high.

After the handle broke off, a bronze replacement was attached by carefully drilling through the body. Although I seem to have countless replacement handles such as this in my collection, each are a little different in size, proportion, and material. I especially enjoy the patterns created by the thinly cut rattan, woven over the handle as insulation and to help form a tighter grip.

This example, with similar form and decoration, shows what the original handle on my mug would have looked like before it took a tumble.

Photo courtesy of Ruby Lane

Stapled bowl with birds & insects, c.1830

Sunday, April 4th, 2021

This Meissen style porcelain bowl with scalloped edge is hand decorated with a large bird at center surrounded by insects and finished with a delicate gilt border. It measures 5.5 inches in diameter. Although unsigned, it was most likely made in Germany, c.1830.

Long ago the bowl slipped from the hands of someone who might have been clearing the table or washing up after a meal. As a result of the mishap, the bowl, now in 2 pieces, was brought to a “china mender” for repair. With the addition of 12 carefully placed metal staples, the bowl was brought back to life and able to function once again on the dinner table.