Archive for the ‘bowl’ Category

Chinese bowl with metal bands, c.1800

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

This porcelain bowl was made in China during the Jiaqing period (1796-1820) and measures 2-3/4″ tall, 6-7/8″ in diameter. It is decorated with scrolling lotus blossoms in cobalt blue underglaze “pencil drawn” decoration, a style using cross hatched lines instead of color washes to show shading. It has a blue seal mark on the bottom, as well as an early collector’s inventory label.

At first glance this fine bowl appears unscathed, dare I say “perfect,” showing no noticeable sign of damage or repair. But upon closer inspection, one can see a subtle yet most effective inventive repair. Over 150 years ago when the bowl dropped and broke in half, two simple bronze bands were attached, one along the top rim and the other encircling the base, holding the broken pieces tightly together. Due to the exceptional quality of the repair, I believe a skilled 19th century jeweler was responsible for this delicate work, as the top band’s thickness is an incredible 2/16″ with invisible seams. But most amazingly, not a drop of glue was used to mend this bowl.

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Heart-shaped metal brace on Chinese bowl, c.1770

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

I have never seen another repair quite like this. The porcelain bowl itself is fine but unremarkable: made in China in the mid-1700′s for export to North America and Europe, decorated in Famille Rose enamels with large stylized flowers and cobalt blue underglaze leaves.

But what makes this piece truly remarkable are the figural repairs. Rather than using standard metal staples or straps to join the broken pieces of the bowl, an inspired metalsmith cut three different shapes to form a unique bond. An unmistakeable heart-shaped brace sits below a strap shaped like a scepter. Each of these has short metal pins attached, which pass through small holes drilled into the side of the bowl.

This short metal strap, straddling a crack, resembles a bow tie.

Bowl measures 4″ high and has a diameter of 8-1/4″.

A single red blossom surrounded by spidery blue leaves is found at the center of the bowl and a decorative border is painted along the inner rim.

The inside of the bowl reveals the carefully hammered ends of the metal brace pins, which are mostly masked by the deep cobalt painted decoration.

African wood bowl, c.1900

Friday, May 13th, 2011

My extraordinarily talented friend Bibiana made me another birthday cake with an inventive repair theme this year and it was presented to me in this wonderful make-do bowl. She purchased it many years ago when she worked as a food stylist and used it as a prop in numerous photo shoots. Unfortunately, the cake was so delicious that it was immediately cut up and eaten before a photo was taken. But I am glad this bowl was not eaten along with the cake and I am happy to add it to my collection!

This bowl was made in Africa, possibly Ethiopia, and was hand carved from a single piece of lightweight wood.

It measures approximately 10-1/4″ in diameter and is 2-1/2″ high.

After the bowl dropped and cracked in half, it was mended with rivets and 4 iron support straps, most likely by the village tinker.

Both the bowl and the iron repairs have a lovely patina from many years of use.

The underside reveals scratches, bruises and other imperfections in the wood, which I like to think of as battle scars and only add more character to the bowl.

“Beehive” pattern waste bowl, c.1820

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

This English-made soft paste pottery waste bowl was originally part of a larger tea set. Waste bowls, aka slop bowls, were used for pouring out the remaining cold tea before pouring another cup of tea. It has a cobalt blue & white transfer decoration of a bee skep in a bucolic pastoral setting

The many cracks on the sides have been stabilized by the careful addition of small ridged metal staples, which appear to be machine made

A single bent metal staple affixed to the underside acts as a crutch and ingeniously supports the broken base

Bowl measures 2-1/2″ high with a dimeter of 4-1/8″

Large glass apothecary jar, c.1880

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

This American made pressed glass apothecary jar is one of the largest antiques with inventive repair I have in my collection. It sits proudly on my office conference table, garnering much interest and curiosity from my employees and clients. The many cracks in the glass bowl are held tight with 8 vertical metal reinforcement straps and a top, center and bottom horizontal band, made by a tinsmith in the early 1900′s

The simple globular form is so timeless it almost defies period

The rim is decorated with a molded ribbed pattern

The surface on the metal bands have oxidized nicely over the past 100 years

Jar measures 13″ high and is 9-1/2″ wide

The apothecary jar pictured below has its original lid and has no cracks. It appears to have been made by the same manufacturer as mine, as the bases on each are nearly identical

Photo courtesy of Collectibles Articles

Chinese footed dish with fort scene, c.1840

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

A wonderful Chinese export quatrefoil footed dish with an unusual fort scene, painted in polychrome enamels and measures 11″ by 8-3/4″ and is 2-3/4″ high. I found this piece in 1995 at the long gone and much missed outdoor Chelsea flea market on Sixth Avenue & 26th Street in NYC. At the time of purchase, I paid more for this dish than any other piece in my collection, but I loved the decoration combined with the many repairs and had to have it. Fifteen years later, it remains a favorite of mine and I have yet to see another example with a similar decoration

If anyone can translate these Chinese characters I would greatly appreciate it

Multiple repairs include metal “cuff” patches mask large chips along the edges…

and crudely made lozenge-shaped iron rivets, which seem to have been mass produced and are different than the more commonly seen staples made from wire

The decoration on my dish could have been inspired by Fort Folly in the Pearl River, as seen in this fine China trade oil painting, c.1840

photo courtesy of Richard Gould Antiques

Child’s waste bowl, c.1830

Monday, July 19th, 2010

A child’s waste bowl with brown printed transfer decoration on soft paste pearlware pottery, made in England in the early 1800′s. This small waste bowl was part of a child’s tea set which would have included a teapot, cream jug, sugar jar, plates, cups & saucers. The waste bowl (aka slop bowl) was used for emptying unwanted cold tea before refilling a cup with hot tea

One side of the bowl has a printed design depicting a girl and boy chasing a butterfly…

…the other side shows the same girl and boy after the successful capture of the butterfly

After the bowl was dropped and broke in to four pieces, it was taken to a tinsmith who created an elaborate metal truss to keep it intact. A puddle of light blue glaze seen on the inner rim confirms this to be a piece of pearlware pottery. Bowl measures 2-1/2″ high and has a diameter of 5″

Nanking reticulated basket, c.1750

Friday, June 18th, 2010

This HEAVY Chinese pierced porcelain basket for fruit or chestnuts has numerous crudely executed cut out holes for ventilation. It dates from the Qianlong period (1736-95) and is boldly decorated in a cobalt blue underglaze decoration of flowers and medallions

Basket measures 12″ long, 9″ deep, 3″ high

The central floral motif is beautifully rendered but the border design is painted in a more rustic style and was perhaps done by another artist

Due to the extreme weight of this piece, it took a restorer 29 metal staples to repair the bottom alone…

17 staple repairs and 5 metal clips (some with blue and white paint to help mask the metal intrusions) to repair the sides…

and a single metal bolt to hold together one of the handles, for a surprising total of 52 separate repairs. So far, this basket holds the record for the highest number of staple repairs on a single piece!

Spanish earthenware bowl, c.1790

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Tin glaze earthenware bowl made in the town of Puente del Arzobispo, near Talavera de la Reina, an important ceramic center in the Castilla – La Mancha province of Spain. Puenta became one of the most important centers for ceramic production, after being founded in the early 1200′s.

Nine 2″ long rustic iron staples repair the cracks in this bowl.

Green, yellow and brown tin under glaze decorate the bowl’s surface with an abstract design.

Bowl measures 11-1/4″ diam, 5″ high.

Glass covered compote, c.1870

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

This large pressed glass covered compote stands 13″ tall and was made in America during the Victorian era

It is not surprising that the original glass base did not support the weight of this heavy piece. A funnel-shaped tin replacement base, painted gold, adds “elegance”

A similarly shaped covered compote with frosted leaf pattern shows what the original base might have looked like

Photo courtesy of All Antique Glass