This substantial ale mug was manufactured at the turn of the 18th century, possibly by Caughley, in Shropshire, England. It stands 5-1/2″ tall and is made of soft-paste porcelain with a pearlware glaze, and decorated with a bold cobalt blue Chinoiserie fantasy transfer print. It was purchased in London by my father and given to me as my 40th birthday present. Seeing it reminds me of how proud he was when he found pieces to add to my numerous collections. Although it has just 2 small brass staples by the handle and not an over abundance of obvious repairs, as more typically seen in these pages, I am still very happy to own it.
Archive for the ‘mug/tankard’ Category
This is the story of a forced marriage between an 18th century Chinese porcelain mug and a 19th century English pottery jug, joined together by a mad tinker to live out the rest of their lives as one. The Qianlong period (1736-1795) mug with cobalt blue underglaze design stands 5-1/8″ high. The original handle, most likely in the form of a dragon, broke off sometime in the early 1800s. I imagine a clever repairer (or Dr. Frankenstein?) found a damaged English stoneware pottery jug, skillfully removed the intact snake-shaped handle and, using two metal rivets, reattached it to the body of a Chinese tankard…creating a hybrid Anglo-Asian monster mug!
This is what the original dragon handle on my Chinese mug would have looked like before it broke off. Photo courtesy of Ruby Lane
And this Mason’s Ironstone “Hydra” jug, made in Staffordshire, c.1830, shows the serpent handle intact. Photo courtesy of Selling Antiques
This canary yellow pottery mug with silver lustre bands and decoration was made in England in the early 19th century. I recently purchased it from a dealer in the UK who used the “tankard” as his pencil cup. He wrote me “(It) sits on my desk. Only dealers appreciate it! My customers think I am crazy”. I, of course, do not think he’s crazy and it’s too bad his customers did not appreciate it, nor see the beauty in the patterns made by the multiple repairs. It did take a little bit of convincing for the dealer to agree to sell it to me and after I told him “please consider how happy the mug will be living in America with other wounded survivors!”, we agreed on a fair price. I sent payment, the mug arrived 2 weeks later and it has become my new favorite piece!
Measures 3-1/2″ tall, 3-5/8″ diameter.
Every angle reveals more and more staples…
Comical poem printed on the front reads:
“The maltster doth crave
His money to have,
The distiller says have it he must;
By this you may see,
How the case stands with me;
So I pray don’t ask me to trust”
After this mug was smashed, the body was held together with the aid of 40 metal staples of varying size and the handle was repaired with 6 metal bands. It must have been truly cherished by whoever had it repaired.
I love the stylized sunbursts, enhanced by the addition of metal staples, on both sides of the mug.
This Chinese export porcelain cylindrical form mug is decorated in the Rose Mandarin style with polychrome underglazed enamels. It is painted using the Famille Verte palette and has stylized flowers and a domestic scene
Over the past 260 years or so, this ceramic survivor sustained a life of clumsy owners, resulting in many large chips along the rim and a broken handle
Mug stands 4-1/2″ tall
The once separated handle is now held tightly in place with the aid of two small metal rivets, repaired in the 1800′s by an itinerant mender
This Chinese ceramic mug with similar form has an intact handle and no chips
Photo courtesy of Artifact