Archive for the ‘bowl’ Category

Chinese basin bowl with 136 metal staples, c.1865

Sunday, February 4th, 2018

This large porcelain bowl was made in China durning the Tongzhi period (1862–1874). It is decorated with warrior figures, a horse, an interior scene & flowers in the famille rose palette and measures 14.75 inches in diameter and is 4.75 inches high. Originally it would have been part of a set which most likely included a matching water jug.

But the true beauty for me lies on the underside. After the bowl broke into 2 pieces, a skilled and patient china mender used 136 metal staples, placed in pairs, to make this broken bowl whole again. The work is extraordinary and the repair is tight, making it usable. And as you can see in the last photo, Oscar demonstrates that it also makes for a comfortable cat bed.

Blue & white transferware dish, c.1830

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

This serving dish was made in England by Wedgwood, c.1830. It is decorated with a blue transfer scene depicting buildings, ships, trees, and overscaled flowers along the border. On the underside is the stamped mark “WEDGWOOD’S STONE CHINA”. It measures 9 inches square.

Well over 100 years ago when this dish broke in half, it was brought to a “china mender” who repaired it using 12 metal staples, aka rivets. Originally it had a cover but I am guessing that when it took a tumble the lid was broken beyond repair. But at least the more functional piece survived and thanks to the handiwork of a 19th century restorer, this dish can still be used today.

 

This covered dish of similar form and decoration still has its original cover.

dish

Photo courtesy of eBay

Lalique “Coquilles” glass bowl, c.1900

Friday, May 5th, 2017

This elegant Art Nouveau opaline glass bowl was made by Lalique in France, circa 1900. It is decorated with molded overlapping clam shells in the Coquilles No.2 pattern and measures 8.25 inches in diameter. “R. LALIQUE, FRANCE no. 3201” is etched on the underside.

Most people are amazed when they first encounter staple repairs on ceramics. When they see the same technique applied to glassware, they are stupefied. Click on this entry: Miniature cranberry glass punch cup, c.1890, to see one quarter inch staples holding together a tiny glass cup. It’s hard to imagine how this delicate work was done, let alone how the repairs have remained intact for over 100 years.

Pair of Famille Rose dragons cups, c.1890

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

This pair of unmarked Chinese porcelain cups from the Guangxu period (1875-1908) are nicely decorated in the Famille Rose palette with peach trees, dragons chasing flaming pearls, and koi fish in waves. Each measures nearly 2.75 inches high and 4 inches in diameter.

It’s hard to tell if the bronze handles, most likely added in the early 1900s, were replacement handles or if they were attached to transform handless bowls into drinking cups.

Finding pairs of inventive repairs is uncommon and I am always on the lookout for more examples. In the coming weeks I will show other pairs from my collection so stay tuned.

img_8215-version-2

img_8218

img_8224

img_8320

img_8219

img_8220-version-2

img_8225

Chinese bowl for “Mifs Cox”, c.1740

Saturday, July 30th, 2016

This Chinese bowl, which measures 2.75 inches high and 5.75 inches diameter, is decorated with flowers, pagodas, and bridges in the Japanese Imari style and palette. It was made for export to Europe in the early to mid 1700s with just the blue underglaze decoration, but soon after arriving, it was overpainted in red and gold to keep up with the public’s new demand for colorful porcelain. This method of overpainting is often referred to as clobbering.

You may wonder why I am featuring a bowl that appears to have had its broken halves merely glued together. But the “Mifs Cox” red mark on the underside – she was most likely the original owner of the bowl – gives insight into how the bowl was repaired. An early form of ceramic repair practiced in England during the late 1700s to middle 1800s was called “china burning,” in which broken ceramics were re-fired at a low temperature, causing the broken pieces to fuse together. The most renowned china burner was Edward Combes of Queen Street, Bristol, who signed his pieces on the underside in red script, similarly to the mark on this bowl. I have a few examples of pieces repaired and signed by Combes and will post them in the coming months.

IMG_9192 - Version 2

IMG_9193

IMG_9195

IMG_9196

IMG_9197

IMG_9194

IMG_9201

IMG_9202

IMG_9203

IMG_9205

The Kingman Tavern Museum mystery

Saturday, June 11th, 2016

In the small hamlet of Cummington, Massachusetts, home of the esteemed ceramics gallery Ferrin Contemporary, sits the Kingman Tavern Museum, a small historical museum overflowing with antiques of local interest, donated mainly by the town’s residents. The collection includes a full scale replica of an early 1900s country store, miniature rooms by artist Alice Steele, and vintage clothes, tools, and household items. Among them is a curious set of porcelain plates riddled with early staple repairs.

On a shelf sitting alongside a handful of innocuous-looking plates and tableware are two stacks of thick walled bowls and platters, each with pronounced staple repairs. The cobalt blue stylized rabbit pattern is unfamiliar to me but appears to be American, late 19th century, and perhaps restaurant china. No one associated with the museum seems to know anything about the set or how they got there. If anyone recognizes the pattern please let me know and help solve this mystery!

IMG_5261

IMG_5264

IMG_5273

IMG_5266

IMG_5269

IMG_5271

Covered vegetable dish, c.1830

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

This English pottery covered vegetable dish measures 12.5 inches by 10.25 inches and has brown transfer decoration of Greek buildings, urns, and classical figures. Although a potter has yet to be confirmed, there is speculation that it may have been made by Hicks, Meigh, & Johnson in Shelton, Staffordshire, between 1822 and 1835. It is marked on the underside “ANTIQUES, Stone China”.

When the original handle on the cover broke off, a tinker made this chunky iron replacement. Although it in no way matches the elegance of the original handle, this sturdy repair allowed for the cover to function once again.

IMG_7108 - Version 3

IMG_7111

IMG_7112

IMG_7050

IMG_3075

IMG_3074

This covered dish with similar form shows what the original handle on mine might have looked like.

06-01

Photo courtesy of Antiques Image Archive

Liverpool Porcelain teabowl, c.1770

Sunday, June 14th, 2015

I purchased this unmarked soft-paste teabowl from an antique ceramics dealer in the UK who appreciates early repairs and has provided me with many interesting examples of make-do repairs over the years. This piece was made by Philip Christian Liverpool Porcelain, c.1765-70, and measures 1-3/4 inches  high x 3 inches  diameter. It has a fluted body with molded leaves and flowers, a cobalt blue underglaze border of leaves and berries, and a flower motif painted on the inside.

This delicate teabowl boasts multiple repairs done by a 19th century “china mender.” After the bowl broke, a large chip was reattached using tightly bound brass wire wrapped around holes drilled through the body, appearing at first like more commonly used staple repairs. A large blob of lead was applied to the center of the crack, acting as an anchoring rivet. A smaller chip along the rim, perhaps lost or too small to repair, has been replaced with a thin sliver of porcelain decorated with iron-red scrollwork from another piece entirely. This type of repair, using thin wire instead of metal staples, is typically associated with 19th century repair work done in Belgium and the South of France.

IMG_8933

IMG_8936

IMG_8938

IMG_8939

IMG_8941

Below is a “perfect” example with matching saucer.

liverpool2pcbowl

Photo courtesy of Antique Porcelain Online

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

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

IMG_1872

IMG_1721

IMG_1859_2

IMG_3818

IMG_2180

IMG_6950

IMG_3638

IMG_3699

IMG_5678

IMG_3146

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.

IMG_6328