Archive for the ‘vase’ Category

Glass trumpet vase, c.1900

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

I found this pretty Bohemian crimped-edge glass vase at a small antiques shop near my house in the Catskills a few summers ago. It is decorated with enamel and gilt flowers in the Art Nouveau style and measures 10 inches high and 6.5 inches in diameter at the base. It was made in Europe at the turn of the 19th century.

Although it has an unusual make-do base repurposed from a brass lamp, I hesitated at first as it didn’t call out to me as most antiques with inventive repairs do. But I ended up buying it and in the years since it has grown on me. The dealer I purchased it from had polished the replacement base within an inch of its life, buffing the brass to match the lustre of the gilding. Typically, I prefer my early repairs to have a dark, rich patina, but in this case I like the gold on gold coloring. It just seems right.

This vase of similar form suggests what the base on mine might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of eBay

Chinese dollhouse snuff bottle, c.1700

Sunday, December 18th, 2016

I seem to have a thing for miniatures. I marvel at the craftsmanship of creating tiny versions of larger pieces, which requires more time and skill, as well as good eyesight and nimble fingers. When I was at a street market in Egypt many years ago, I saw hundreds of lanterns made of tin and painted glass. One vendor had minuscule working lanterns, no more than 3 inches, which held tiny birthday cake candles. Even though they were a fraction of the size of the other lanterns, they were the same price and took just as long to make, if not longer.

So you can imagine how I was doubly thrilled when I found this miniature porcelain dollhouse snuff bottle with an inventive repair. It was made in China during the Kangxi period (1662-1722), has blue underglaze decoration of figures, and measures 2.75 inches tall. But there’s more to the story, as this bottle started its life as a vase. Well over 150 years ago, after its neck broke off, a silversmith added a silver collar with etched decoration, cork, and a top attached to a spoon, transforming the broken vase into a functional snuff bottle. It has a sword shaped Dutch hallmark dating the repair to the mid-1800s.

I now have five tiny Chinese dollhouse miniatures in my collection and try not to inhale too deeply around them.

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This pair of miniature vases with similar form and decoration show what the original neck on my vase looked like before it was transformed into a snuff bottle.

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Photo courtesy of Santos

Chrysanthemum Leaf vase, c.1900

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

This Early American Pattern Glass (EAPG) vase was made in Greentown, Indiana, by the Indiana Tumbler & Goblet Co. from 1894 until 1903. It is made of non-flint glass in the Chrysanthemum leaf pattern with gold accents and stands 5.75 inches high.

I have many examples of EAPG goblets, celery holders, vases, cake stands and oil lamps in my collection that have been dropped and inventively repaired with wood and tin. This one sports a modern-looking golden oak pyramid-shaped wood base replaced in the early 20th century.

This vase still has its original base.

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Photo courtesy of eBay

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

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

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Moser enameled glass pokal, c.1890

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

This tall, regal enameled amber glass pokal was made at the end of the 19th century by the esteemed glass manufacturer Moser, in Karlsbad, Austria; today known as Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic. Ludwig Moser opened his first factory in 1857 and soon his artfully decorated glassware found its way into worldwide collections of presidents, popes, king, queens, and Liberace. To the best of my knowledge, this pokal, which measures 15.75 inches tall, was not owned by Liberace. As the bulk of the pokal is quite heavy, I am not surprised that at some point it broke in two, snapping off at the base. Luckily for me, an early practitioner of recycling secured the remaining unscathed upper portion of it to a sturdy brass lamp base, allowing it to be filled to the brim with beer or display an arrangement of fresh flowers.

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This tall amber glass vase made by Moser has its original base intact.

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Photo courtesy of Trocadero

Miniature vase to scent bottle transformation, c.1700

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Chinese Kangxi period (1662-1722) miniature porcelain vase, decorated in blue underglaze floral design. Costly miniatures such as this were collected by adults and were not necessarily made for children, although they are still commonly referred to as doll’s house miniatures.

After the neck broke off, an unmarked chased silver neck with chain & stopper was added, most likely in Amsterdam, sometime in the early to mid 1800s, turning the vase into a scent bottle. This is my favorite type of inventive repair; one where an object’s original function is altered and transformed into another.

Scent bottle stands a mere 3-1/4″ tall.

Please check out my other doll’s house miniature vases from the same period showing similar striking transformations.

This miniature vase, with nearly identical form and decoration, shows the original form with an intact neck.

Whale oil lamp vase, c.1830

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

This simple, hand blown glass whale oil lamp was made in America in the early 19th century. Though no longer functional as a lamp, it now makes for an interesting vase. A true make-do, it started out life as one thing and as the result of an accident, was reborn as something entirely different.

Whale oil was the preferred source of lighting in the early 1800’s, and was also used for making soap, textiles, jute, varnish, explosives and paint. It fell out of favor in the mid-late 1800’s as a result of the development of kerosene oil in 1846.

Illustration courtesy of Curious Expeditions

Lamp/vase measures 6-1/4″ tall and the base is 3″ square. The original brass collar and burner went missing long ago.

It is not unusual to find oil lamps with replaced bases, as they were one of the most used household items in the 19th century. This unusually elaborate replacement base is made of wood and covered in gessoed relief flowers, with a floret at each corner.

This complete lamp shows what the base on my lamp might have looked like.

 

Photo courtesy of Comollo Antiques

Early Delft vase, c.1680

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

I believe this Dutch or German Delft vase to be the earliest piece in my collection. It is made of tin-glazed earthenware and decorated with a blue & white Chinese motif, as were most European ceramic pieces dating from the 17th and 18th centuries

Time has not been kind to this very heavy vase, which stands 10-1/2″ tall, but it must have been cherished by its owners over the past 330 years or so. It has survived the loss of its original base and bears the battle scars of large chips and cracks, restored many years after it was first made

It now stands on a wobbly, cracked wooden base, painted blue and white to match the body of the vase. Unfortunately, the painted surface has become unstable, flaking each time the vase is touched

Cranberry glass trumpet vase, c.1890

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

There’s not much I know about this little gem of a free-blown glass vase, which measures 5-3/4″ high. It has become a favorite of mine, due to its delicate form and beautiful cranberry color. A turned wood base replaces the long-gone glass base.

This clear glass trumpet vase shows what the original glass base on my vase might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of Skinner

Edwardian pressed glass vase, c.1910

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Those who could not afford to purchase hand cut glass items bought less expensive substitutes made of pressed glass.

This 10-1/2″ tall vase has a home made replaced base made from cement and painted gold to add a touch of “elegance”.

Here is the same vase with its original pressed glass base.

Photo courtesy of eBay