Connecticut Ceramics Study Circle lecture

December 10th, 2017

Tomorrow, December 11, 2017, from 1:15pm – 3:00pm, I will be giving a talk at the Connecticut Ceramics Study Circle, at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT. Please stop by if you are in the neighborhood.

Click HERE for more information. Hope to see you there.

 

 

Samuel Hollins stoneware coffee pot, c.1800

December 2nd, 2017

This impressive drabware coffee pot was made by Samuel Hollins in Stoke-on-Trent, England, c.1795-1800. Made from unglazed dry bodied stoneware, it has sprigged decoration on the top portion, a ribbed lower portion, and silver lustre painted trim lines. It measures 8.5 inches high and 7.75 inches wide from handle to spout. On the underside is the impressed mark S. HOLLINS.

It appears that soon after the coffee pot was made, the tip of the spout broke off and the lid went missing. Luckily for the owner, a local tinsmith made a sturdy metal replacement lid, adding a hinge and a sawtooth edged collar. Although quite different in appearance, the new lid is more likely to remain on the pot, and the chance of another mishap his less likely.

This one shows what the original spout and lid would have looked like on mine.

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Photo courtesy of WorthPoint

My collection is back, and so am I!

November 23rd, 2017

After a brief break from posting, I am back with more to share from my collection of antiques with inventive repairs.

Last weekend, the nearly 300 pieces from my collection, on loan to Boscobel for the exhibit Make-Do’s: Curiously Repaired Antiques, were returned to me. I was without them for almost a year and during that time, the suddenly empty shelves in my office slowly filled up with books and other household items. Due to time restraints, rather than methodically return the hundreds of teapots, jugs, plates, cups, goblets, etc. to my shelves in an orderly fashion, I was just able to pile them up all around the house, praying that my 2 young cats, Grady and Oscar, wouldn’t turn my prized repaired pieces back into broken antiques. As I have said before, there’s nothing more redundant than a broken make-do. So far, I am happy to report that everything is still intact!

Looking ahead, I may not be posting every week as I have for the past nearly 7 years, so please be patient with me between lapses in my posts. I have some exciting new projects I am working on and will share the results in the near future. Thank you for following my blog, which continues to bring me great pleasure, as I acquire and research new pieces and write these posts.

South American chicha jug, c.1908

October 8th, 2017

This baluster-form pottery chicha jug was made from natural red clay in Boliva or Peru in 1908. It is decorated with deep carvings, including “Indio” faces and geometric forms and measures 5.75 inches high and 5 inches wide. On the underside is a bold incised mark “1908 EA.” Chicha is a fermented beverage made in South and Central America from grains, maize or fruit.

A true survivor, this little jug suffered much damage early on but is still intact 109 years later. With its elaborate design and intricate details, it must have been treasured by its owner and was preserved for future generations using whatever materials were available. By wrapping thin leather strips tightly around the multiple fractures, the jug was able to function once again and saved from the junk pile. It goes without saying that I am certainly glad it wasn’t just thrown out with the garbage.

Boscobel exhibit extended one week!

October 1st, 2017

Due to an outcry from a throng of adoring fans of antiques with inventive repairs, the powers that be at Boscobel House and Gardens have agreed to extended the exhibit, Make-Do’s: Curiously Repaired Antiques. For those of you who did not get the chance to see it, or for those who would like to see it again, you now have until next Sunday, October 8th, to witness the beauty of Boscobel and see hundreds of examples from my collection.

Photos courtesy of Bibiana Famolare

 

Mounted Kangxi dish, c.1750

September 24th, 2017

This porcelain dish was made in China for export to Europe in the middle 1700s. It is decorated with figures in blue, red, green, and black enamels and measures 8 inches long, including the mount, with a diameter of 4.25 inches.

Not only was this dish repaired on the underside using 4 metal staples, each .25 inches long, but a fragment from another piece was added to the ornate bronze rococo mount. Please take a look at an earlier post with a similar porcelain dish and bronze mount: Kanji period dish, c.1700.

 

Japanese Imari mystery vessel, c.1800

September 17th, 2017

This unusual Japanese porcelain vessel has been a mystery to me ever since I purchased it in London in 2014. The dealer I bought it from knew little about it, so I have been researching it for the past few years. It stands 8.75 inches high and is decorated in the Imari style and color palette, including cobalt blue, iron red, green, and gilt accents. I asked some experts to weigh in on its function and age and their responses range from it being a shaving mug, an incense burner, to a tumba for drinking fermented millet. Most agree it was made during the Edo period (1603–1867).

The original lid and handle broke over 125 years ago and were replaced in Tibet (others suggest Turkey and Persia) with an ornate replacement adorned with turquoise, coral and blue glass beads. If anyone can shed more light on this mystery vessel, especially when it was made and its original use, I would greatly appreciate it.

Photographing my collection at Boscobel

September 10th, 2017

This past week I spent two days documenting the exhibit Make-Do’s: Curiously Repaired Antiques at Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison, NY with photographer Joshua McHugh and his assistant Scott Irvine. They did an outstanding job shooting pieces from my collection throughout the house using only natural light.

Here are a few photos I took of Joshua at work and various shots from the exhibit. My sincere thanks to Jennifer Carlquist, Ed Glisson, and the staff of Boscobel for their generosity and support during our time there.

Glass oil lamp with wood base, c.1880

September 3rd, 2017

This American pressed glass oil lamp, dating from the late 1800s, can be seen in the exhibit Make-Do’s: Curiously Repaired Antiques at Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison, New York, on view through October 1. It measures 10 inches high.

It is not uncommon to find glass oil lamps with a make-do repairs. Starting in the late 1700s, most homes had at least one glass oil lamp and due to their daily use and frequent handling, many became damaged. On this example, a brass ferrule joins the surviving glass bowl to a carved wood replacement base, which appears to be an at home repair. The burner is a modern replacement and allows the lamp to function as it originally did over 130 years ago.

This lamp with similar form suggest what the original base on my lamp might have looked like before it took a tumble.

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Photo courtesy of Oil Lamp Antiques

Chinese Imari tea cup, c.1750

August 27th, 2017

This petite porcelain tea cup has floral decoration in the Imari palette, including cobalt blue, red, and gold. It was made in China during the Qianlong period (1736-95) and most likely would have been a part of a larger dinner service. It measures 2.5 inches high.

Well over 100 years ago, its original loop handle snapped off and was fitted with a nicely done, well proportioned metal replacement. I especially like the two-tone checkerboard pattern of the woven rattan, which might have been the calling card of the repairer. I have dozens of examples of wrapped metal handles and I like comparing the various styles and patterns of the rattan.

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

Photo courtesy of Stockspring Antiques