Wishing you all the best during the holiday season and for a healthy and Happy New Year!
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.
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.
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.
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″
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!
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.