Posts Tagged ‘wood base’

“Girl of Lily” sugar bowl, c.1860

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

What looks like a glass goblet is actually a sugar bowl. Made in the mid 19th century by the McKee Glass Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, this EAPG (Early American Pattern Glass) stemmed sugar bowl is made of flint glass and has a raised “Girl of Lily” pattern, also called “Eve” and “Little Eva”, on three sides. It stands 6″  tall and has an opening of 4-3/8″  and is quite heavy, characteristic of flint glass, which has a large lead content. Another characteristic is its durability, though at some point in the 1800s, the sugar bowl slipped out of the hands of its carrier and the base snapped off. Luckily it wasn’t a salt container, as some believe that spilling salt is an evil omen. Spilled sugar, not so much. But it seems someone in the house was handy, as a nicely turned wood base was made to replace the broken original base and the sugar bowl was passed around the dinner table once again.

This photo shows the sugar bowl intact with the original lid and base.

girl of lily

From the book Much More Early American Pattern Glass by Alice Hulett Metz, 1965

Swallowed up whale oil lamp, c.1860

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

This whale oil lamp is pulling a Jonah in reverse, as it appears that the “whale” has been swallowed up by its wood replacement base. Possibly made by the New England Glass Company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the mid-1800s, this tri-mold pressed glass lamp with thumbprint pattern stands 7-1/4″ tall.

Whale oil was the preferred source of lighting in the early 1800s, and was also used for making soap, textiles, jute, varnish, explosives and paint. It fell out of favor by the third quarter of the 1800s as a result of the development of kerosene oil in 1846, a cheaper and less odorous alternative.

The lathe-turned wood base envelopes more than half of the lamp, which results in a whimsical, yet sturdy, home repair.















































This oil lamp with similar form shows what the original glass base on my lamp most likely looked like before it took a tumble.



















Photo courtesy of eBay

“Westward Ho” pressed glass jug, c.1879

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

As much as I appreciate gorgeously painted porcelains with exquisitely crafted sterling silver repairs, I also get a thrill discovering stoic survivors such as this humble pressed glass jug. It was made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by Gillinder & Sons in the late 1870s and stands 7-3/4″ tall. The acid etched “Westward Ho” pattern, originally called “Pioneer”, was so popular with consumers that it has been reproduced many times since its debut 135 years ago.

No surprise that in my opinion the best feature of this jug is its 4″ x 5″ clunky wood replacement base, which dates to the early 1900s. After it was attached to the intact upper body of the jug, it was painted white to appear more elegant. Although most of the whitewash has worn off, a warm patina remains on the out of proportion, crudely carved chunk of pine. Repairs of this kind were typically done at home using whatever materials were at hand. I imagine this jug was quickly repaired at father’s work bench, returned to the kitchen for mother to fill with cream, then brought to the dinner table to be passed back and forth between family members. Thanks to this sturdy, no-nonsense repair, it is still able to perform its original function over one hundred years later.









The jug at the right, from The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection, shows what the original footed base on mine would have looked like before it snapped off.

westward ho-met

Photo courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Large toy cannon, c.1890

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

This is the last and largest of the three cannons I purchased as a lot last November. It measures 12-1/4″ long, 4-3/4″ tall and I believe it was made in America in the late 1800s. When a young boy played a bit too rough and broke the toy cannon one Fourth of July in the early 1900s, I imagine his handy dad or grandfather carved a wood base to replace the broken cast iron original, adding embellishments such as paper stars and the letters “U S” to its sides. The barrel, with remains of the original black surface, sits on a metal plate and is fastened to the wood trolley using metal straps. The carved wood wheels are connected to a wood axel with metal pins and a strip of tin edging is attached to the back tail using numerous nail heads. I love the original dark green painted surface with gold trim and alligator finish, consistent on all three of the cannons, suggesting that they were repaired by the same person or at least in the same household. Please take a look at these other two posts, including a small and a medium-sized cannon, which make up the remainder of this terrific trio.






This intact bronze cannon with fanciful trolly shows where the inspiration came from for the carved wood base on mine.

bronze cannon

Photo courtesy of Live Auctioneers

Cut crystal compote, c.1900

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Sometime around 1920, an elegant 8″ tall crystal compote slipped out of the hands of a nervous hostess as she was serving stewed rhubarb to a dinner guest. The sudden drop to the floor not only embarrassed the hostess and stained the Persian carpet below, but also snapped the cherished heirloom in half. Luckily, her slightly annoyed but handy husband snatched up the broken diamond-cut decorated bowl and attached it to a recently discarded large wooden spool. Seeing that the marriage of crystal and wood needed further embellishment, he gilded the spool to help jazz it up. The now slightly less nervous hostess was able to enjoy the newly restored compote again, but from then on filled it only with butter mints…just to be safe.





This quartet of compotes shows a variety of original glass bases; perhaps one of which looked like mine.


Photo courtesy of Laurel Leaf Farm

Medium-sized toy cannon, c.1880

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

There seems to be a multitude of original toy cannon barrels married to wood replacement bases, as I have encountered numerous examples since I started collecting antiques with inventive repairs. This fine toy was most likely made in America in the last quarter of the 19th century and is made of brass with a replaced wood base, freely carved from a block of what appears to be pine. It measures 7-1/2″ long, stands 2-3/4″ tall and the barrel alone is 3-1/2″ long. The remains of the original barrel are firmly nailed to the replacement base using a leather strap. The original green painted surface reveals much wear from years of imaginative playing. Two sets of nail holes on one side suggest perhaps a length of chain was once attached. I purchased this in the same lot as two other toy cannons, all with the same green painted surface and graduating in size. Please take a look at the smallest one, previously posted, and stay tuned for the largest example, which I will post sometime in the near future.






This toy cannon, also made of brass, is in its original form and shows what mine may have looked like before the barrel was strapped on to its wood replacement base. Though not up to military code, I still prefer mine!


Photo courtesy of Esty

**UPDATE 4/23**

An astute  subscriber and former gun collector has informed me that this cute li’l toy cannon is actually made from the barrel of a REAL GUN! Please read his amusing and telling comments below, which shed some light on this toys former life on the streets, defending helpless women. And this is what the European ladies percussion muff pistol looked like when it was still intact and used as a deadly weapon, c.1840:

Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 9.41.57 PM

Photo courtesy of Sailor in Saddle


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.






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



Photo courtesy of Land and Sea Collection

Glass kerosene oil lamp, c.1860

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Early American Pattern Glass (EAPG) kerosene oil lamp in what appears to be the Hamilton (aka Cape Cod) pattern, made in America by the Cape Cod Glass Company circa 1860. Measures 8-3/4″ tall. Round 3 tier base of polished wood replaces the original glass base, broken many years ago and replaced in first quarter of the 20th century.

Pair of early blown glass wine goblets, c.1790

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

This unusual pair of American blown glass wine goblets date to the late 1700s and stand approx. 4″ tall. I love finding pairs of early repaired items and these are no exception. When the bases snapped off at the stems, a turned wood base was made for each as a practical replacement.

Whale oil lamp vase, c.1830

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

This simple, hand blown glass whale oil lamp was made in America in the early 19th century. Though no longer functional as a lamp, it now makes for an interesting vase. A true make-do, it started out life as one thing and as the result of an accident, was reborn as something entirely different.

Whale oil was the preferred source of lighting in the early 1800’s, and was also used for making soap, textiles, jute, varnish, explosives and paint. It fell out of favor in the mid-late 1800’s as a result of the development of kerosene oil in 1846.

Illustration courtesy of Curious Expeditions

Lamp/vase measures 6-1/4″ tall and the base is 3″ square. The original brass collar and burner went missing long ago.

It is not unusual to find oil lamps with replaced bases, as they were one of the most used household items in the 19th century. This unusually elaborate replacement base is made of wood and covered in gessoed relief flowers, with a floret at each corner.

This complete lamp shows what the base on my lamp might have looked like.


Photo courtesy of Comollo Antiques