Posts Tagged ‘pottery’

Blue mocha ware mug, c.1840

Saturday, March 6th, 2021

This cylindrical form mug was made in England around 1840. It is decorated with a blue field and thin dark brown bands on a cream ground. “IMPERIAL QUART” is printed in black transfer on the front. Mug measures 6 inches high with a diameter of 4.5 inches.

I’d like to imagine that the mug lost its handle as it was flung across the room during a heated bar brawl. Luckily, a clever tinsmith fashioned a replacement handle and attached it to the mug using 3 horizontal bands. I guess that after the mug was repaired it was involved in another bar brawl, as the bottom band is now missing.

This mocha mug with a similar form and from the same time period maintains its original handle.

Photo courtesy of 1stDibs

Large blue & white transfer printed ladle, c.1830

Sunday, February 7th, 2021

Soup’s on! This blue & white transfer printed pearlware pottery ladle measures 12 inches long and has a 3.5 inch diameter bowl. It was most likely made in the Staffordshire region of England, around 1830.

Sadly, many ladles did not survive the years intact and this one is no exception. I only hope it did not snap in two while soup was being served. But luckily for the original owner (and me!), a clever tinker brought it back to life by adding 2 large rivets and wire around the break. As a true test to the tinker’s skill, the repair has remained secure 150+ years later.

Ladles such as mine were part of a set, including a covered soup tureen and under plate. This ladle appears to be “perfect”, but give it time.

Photo courtesy of Transferware Collectors Club

French faience bowl, c.1800

Sunday, January 31st, 2021

This shallow French faience pottery bowl was given to me a few years ago by my friend Marianne, who found it in Belgium. It measures 9.25 inches in diameter and was made in North France in the late 1700s to early 1800s. It is made of red clay with tin glaze and floral decoration in blue, green and orange enamels.

Soon after the plate broke in half it was repaired most likely by an itinerant repairer, using 3 large metal staples, each 3/4 inches long. Although metal staple (aka rivet) repairs were done throughout the world, this type of long heavy staple was predominantly used in France, Italy and in other nearby European countries.

Canary jug with metal spout, c.1820

Sunday, January 24th, 2021

This baluster-form jug was made in England, c.1820. It has a vibrant canary yellow glaze, silver lustre trim, and printed transfer decorations of Charity on one side and Hope on the reverse. It measures 5.5 inches high, 6 inches wide and is made of soft paste pottery.

After the spout became chipped or broke off completely, a metal spout was made as a replacement. Originally painted yellow to match the body of the jug, most of it has worn away to reveal the raw metal, which nicely complements the silver lustre trim.

This similar example suggests what the original spout on my jug might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Miniature creamware teapot, c.1785

Sunday, November 22nd, 2020

I marvel at miniatures and have collected them since I was around 12 years old. As much as I love well proportioned miniature antiques, I am over the moon for antique miniatures with inventive repairs. With that in mind, you can see why this tiny teapot sends me reeling.

This child’s creamware pottery drum form teapot with painted flowers and cherries stands a mere 2.5 inches high and is just over 3.5 inches from handle to spout. It was made in England during the 4th quarter of the 18th century. At some point in its early history, I imagine a child dropped the teapot during play teatime and the original handle broke off. Luckily for the child and eventually for me, a tinsmith made a metal replacement handle and the imaginary tea was able to flow again. Wouldn’t it be great to find an entire miniature tea set with each piece possessing a different early repair? Well, I can dream, can’t I?

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

Photo courtesy of Ruby Lane

Smear glaze jug with ornate metal handle, c.1800

Sunday, October 25th, 2020

In March 2014, I was invited to give a talk at the English Ceramics Circle in London. Prior to my arrival, I had asked for members to bring in examples from their collections to look at and discuss. Following the talk I met a lovely woman, Field McIntyre, who brought in three of her treasures, each with vastly different types of repair. She is an extremely knowledgable dealer and collector and I learned a lot about each of her unique pieces. We kept in touch over the years and in January 2019, I received a parcel from London which contained the three pieces from her collection. I was gobsmacked by her extraordinary and generous gift and thrilled to add them to my collection. Thank you again, Field!

This small Dutch shape stoneware pottery jug with smear-glaze slip body was made in England, c.1795-1810. It is decorated with classical white relief sprig decoration showing “Poor Maria (and her dog)” on one side and “Charlotte weeping at the tomb of Werther” on the reverse. Under the spout is decoration showing 2 girls with a pail. Jug is unmarked and measures 2.5 inches high, 4 inches from handle to spout.

After the jug took a tumble and the handle broke off, well over 150 years ago, it was replaced by an unusual copper handle with beads down the center. Says Field “It is the type supplied by various manufacturers to J. Mist, repairer, of London.” I have never come across this type of replacement handle before and hope to find more examples to compare it to. Keep an eye on these pages for upcoming posts showing the other two make-do’s gifted to me from Field.

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

Photo courtesy of Winterthur

Delft floral plate, c.1700s

Sunday, October 11th, 2020

I found this colorful tin glazed earthenware pottery plate at a shop in Amsterdam about 6 years ago. It was made in the Netherlands in the 1700s and has stylized floral decoration in polychrome enamels of green, orange, and blue on a white ground. It measures 9 inches in diameter.

After the plate broke, well over 200 years ago, it was repaired most likely by an itinerant repairer. Holes were drilled on either side of the crack and multiple strands of thin brass wire were looped through the holes. The remaining spaces were filled with plaster or a binder of some sort. This is a variation on staple/rivet repairs in which holes are drilled part way through and small metal clamps are secured to the broken pieces. I have found many repairs like these predominantly in Northern France, Brussels, and the Netherlands.

Similar plate with similar crack is in the permanent collection at the Detroit Institute of Art.

Photo courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Arts

Make-do’s in movies: The Trial of the Chicago 7

Saturday, October 3rd, 2020

Last October I was working on The Trial of the Chicago 7, a historical drama written and directed by Aaron Sorkin. This important movie is about the true events surrounding peaceful protests which incited riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Sound familiar? Sadly, history repeats itself.

I like combining two of my interests by using antiques with inventive repairs as set dressing in my film work. On this project, I placed a jug with a metal replacement handle on the set of Attorney General and civil rights lawyer Ramsey Clark, played by Michael Keaton. Unlike some of the other more humble interiors I decorated for Black Panthers, hippies, yippies, and journalists, Clark’s study is wood paneled and filled with traditional American and English furnishings.

The light blue stoneware relief moulded ‘Stag’ jug was made by Stephen Hughes in England, c.1840-55. It stands 5.5 inches high and has an impressed “36” on underside. After the original handle broke off, a tinker made a sturdy metal replacement, which is attached to the original pewter lid.

I will continue to use make-do’s as set dressing in my film work so keep watching and try to spot them. The Trial of the Chicago 7 is currently playing at selected theaters and will be released on Netflix, October 16th. See you at the movies and don’t forget to vote!

This intact example still retains its original handle.

Photo courtesy of Worthpoint

Staffordshire sugar bowl, c.1860

Sunday, August 23rd, 2020

This soft paste pottery footed sugar bowl was made in Staffordshire, England in the mid 1800s. It is decorated with polychrome hand painted flowers & leaves and measures 5.5 inches high, 7.75 inches wide. On the underside is an incised “2” and what appears to be a green hand painted number.

At some point during the early life of this pretty sugar bowl the lid slipped from someone’s fingers and the knob broke off. Rather than toss out a perfectly good bowl, a repurposed brass ring was attached to the lid, held into place with lead. Quite an unusual repair, as tiny rings such as this were used as small box or drawer pulls, and for picture hanging. This is the first time I have seen this type of repair and am pleased that over 100 years ago, someone saved a family heirloom by using a household object and a little bit of ingenuity.

This sugar bowl with similar form suggests what the original knob on mine might have looked like

Photo courtesy of The Townhouse Antiques

Small copper lustre jug with metal handle, c.1830

Sunday, July 26th, 2020

This small pottery jug with copper lustre glaze was most likely made by Enoch Wood & Sons in Staffordshire, England, c.1830. It stands 4.5 inches high and is much smaller than most of the other lustre jugs I have in my collection. I especially like the unusual, whimsical painted decoration, which looks like a tree of green eyeballs, right out of a Dr. Seuss book.

But the real reason you are viewing this jug is because of its metal replacement handle, added by a tinsmith after the original handle broke off. This type of repair is not unusual and can be found on all types of ceramics throughout the world. What makes it special to me is the juxtaposition of the clunky metal handle on the delicate pottery jug with the quirky decoration.

This gives you an idea of what the original handle on my jug would have looked like when it was intact.

Photo courtesy of George Gibison