Posts Tagged ‘staples/rivets’

Mismatched Canton trio with large staples, c.1835

Sunday, April 26th, 2020

My cousin-in-law Carol is a true artist with incredible taste. She is equally adept at painting, sculpture, sewing, and just about any other form of art or craft. Her homes have been decorated with a keen eye and filled with beautiful and quirky details. When she found out about my passion for antiques with inventive repairs, she started sending me wonderful examples for my collection.

This trio of mis-matched 18th century Chinese Canton porcelain arrived unannounced a few months ago. Each piece is decorated in the pagoda pattern in cobalt blue underglaze on a white ground. The small tureen measures 7 inches wide from handle to handle and is 5 inches high to the top of lid finial. The small plate, used here as an under tray, is 9.5 inches x 6.75 inches.

I wouldn’t be surprised of these “damaged” pieces were weeded out of a larger dinner service by a dealer who only wanted to keep the “perfect” pieces. The repairs here include 3 large double brass staples each on the tureen and lid, and 3 large white metal staples on the underside of the plate.

Thank you to whoever did me the favor of dividing up the set and leaving the more interesting stapled pieces for my collection. And thank you again Carol for your generosity and appreciation for the unusual and the quirky!

Floral French faience plate, c.1830

Saturday, April 18th, 2020

This colorful faience (tin-glazed) earthenware plate was made in north-eastern France in the early 1800s. The bold floral decoration is rendered in polychrome enamels, attributed to small pottery workshops in the town of Les Islettes in the Lorraine region. The plate measures 12 inches in diameter.

Earthenware is less durable than porcelain and stoneware so it is not uncommon to find tin-glazed plates from this period with early repairs. After the plate broke, a restorer reunited the two pieces by drilling small holes straight through the surface, lacing a small piece of sturdy wire through the holes, and twisting the ends together. Putty or a bonding cement was added to fill the gaps in the holes. Sometimes multiple strands of thin brass wire were used instead of one piece of heavier wire. Other popular types of repairs in the region include large staples and rivets, also found throughout the world.

My high school French teacher found this plate in Belgium about 6 years ago and knew I would give it a good home. Thanks Marianne for your keen eye!

Many examples of plates similar to mine are on view at the Seisaam Museum in north-east France.

Photo courtesy of Seisaam Museum

Milch glass mug, c.1780

Sunday, February 23rd, 2020

When I first saw this 18th century German Milch glass mug, I though that the hand painted scene of a distinguished gentleman and lovely lady fabric shopping was quaint.

Then it dawned on me that they would have been a contemporary couple, wearing outfits from when the mug was made. 

So, imagine that if a mug was made today showing a contemporary couple shopping for fabric, the image would look something like this…

Right?! Now, you may wonder why this mug is even included here. Well, if you turn the mug around…

…you will find 16 metal staples holding the broken pieces together. As if drilling into delicate porcelain isn’t impressive enough, stapled glass is just mind boggling, don’t you think?

Chinese export tea bowl with staples, c.1770

Sunday, September 29th, 2019

This porcelain tea bowl was made in China, c.1765-1775, during the Qianlong Period. It measures 1.75 inches high, with a 3 inch diameter opening and is decorated in the Mandarin palette, with polychrome enamels featuring a couple on a terrace. 

After the fragile bowl dropped and broke into 3 pieces, it was repaired most likely by an itinerant “China Mender” using 3 small metal staples, aka rivets. Unlike most examples where the rivet holes penetrate the surface about half way, these holes have been drilled all the way through.

I bought this, along with a mismatched saucer, from one of my favorite shops in London and was told by the owner “… we bought this little saucer yesterday with a lovely metal ‘plate’ tinker repair and supporting bar, the bar is etched with little line decoration, I don’t think I have ever seen a repair like this before, it does come with a bog standard riveted tea bowl, we would split them but the bloke we bought them from told me they had been together on his mother’s mantlepiece for at least 70 years, and I am a bit sentimental like that.”

The last photo shows the tea bowl along with the saucer, which I posted earlier.

Antiques Roadshow, May 2010

Sunday, September 15th, 2019

I’ve been watching the Antiques Roadshow since it first aired in 1997, hoping to spot anything with an inventive repair. I finally got my wish in May 2010 with a Native American Tlingit ladle made of mountain sheep horn, c.1800.

The ladle was appraised for $75,000 in 2010 and I imagine it has appreciated in value over the past 9 years.

APRAISER: These would have been considered family heirlooms of the Tlingit people. That’s obviously not the shape of an original horn.
GUEST: Yeah, I wondered, is it carved out?
APPRAISER: Boiled until the horn fabric is soft and malleable, and then pressed into a mold, tied down and left to dry, and then it retains that shape. Right in the middle, there are little cracks and what we might call staples.
GUEST: Uh-huh.
APPRAISER: Although the material is not metallic, it’s baleen, from a whale’s mouth.
GUEST: Wow.
APPRAISER: So where it began to split, we see a Native repair.
GUEST: That’s cool.

Images courtesy of Antiques Roadshow

Chinese export saucer with metal cuff, c.1770

Sunday, July 28th, 2019

This attractive porcelain saucer was made in China, c.1765-1775, during the Qianlong Period. It measures 1.25 inches high, 4.75 inches diameter and is decorated in the Mandarin palette with polychrome enamels, featuring a vignette of 5 figures on a terrace and birds along the border.

The saucer must have chipped rather badly, as a large metal cuff with a 2 inch decorated flattened metal staple covers a damaged area beneath. This unusual repair appears to have been crafted by a tinker, sometime in the 19th century.

I bought this, along with a mismatched tea bowl, from one of my favorite shops in London and was told by the owner “… we bought this little saucer yesterday with a lovely metal ‘plate’ tinker repair and supporting bar, the bar is etched with little line decoration, I don’t think I have ever seen a repair like this before, it does come with a bog standard riveted tea bowl, we would split them but the bloke we bought them from told me they had been together on his mother’s mantlepiece for at least 70 years, and I am a bit sentimental like that.”

The last photo shows the tea bowl, which I will post at a later date.

Jim Thompson House Museum, Bangkok

Sunday, June 16th, 2019

This past December, Mark and I traveled to Southeast Asia, visiting Cambodia, Thailand, and Bangkok. All the while, I was on the lookout for inventive repairs in museums and antique shops. Although I did not find any examples for sale, I did see quite a few in museums.

Here are some examples of stapled ceramics I stumbled upon at the Jim Thompson House Museum in Bangkok, where I seemed to be the only one who noticed these large stapled beauties hiding in plain sight.

Chinese Imari cup with dated silver rim, c.1720

Sunday, April 7th, 2019

This porcelain cup was made in China during the latter part of the Kangxi period (1662-1722) and measures 3.25 inches high. It is decorated with flowers and leaves in the Chinese Imari style and with a palette of blue, iron red, and faint traces of gilt highlights.

At some point in the middle of the 1700s, the cup broke and was brought to a silversmith, who not only rejoined the 2 broken halves using 3 metal staples, but also added a thick silver rim with scalloped bottom edge. The rim is inscribed: “In Remembrance of a Friend,” along with a date “Jan 8, 1766” and monogram “JM.” Sadly the silversmith did not leave his hallmark, but I am thrilled he added the date. Now, if only we knew who JM and his friend were…

This example shows that my cup may have had a matching top.

Photo courtesy of Bidspirit

Royal Crown Derby footed dish, c.1905

Sunday, February 10th, 2019

This porcelain serving dish was made in England by Royal Crown Derby in 1905. It is hand painted in the Imari palette of cobalt blue, iron red, and gilt. On the underside is a red printed mark ROYAL CROWN DERBY, ENGLAND with cypher and an incised mark DERBY, 7-04, dating it to 1905. It measures 10 inches by 7 inches and is 1.75 inches high.

Although two painted metal staples on top of one of the handles hint at what is hiding below deck, it isn’t until this pretty dish is flipped over that things gets more interesting. After this dish fell to the floor and shattered into 9 pieces, it was taken to a china mender, who made it whole again by drilling 68 tiny holes and adding 34 metal staples. Typically china menders charged per staple, so this repair job must have cost the owner a pretty penny.

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