Archive for the ‘plate/platter’ Category

Spanish tin glazed plate, c.1800

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

My friend Marianne gave us this lovely Spanish pottery plate, along with two other similar ones, as a wedding gift when we visited her in Brussels last spring. It is tin glazed with a polychrome design of a bird at center and a wide stylized floral border. The deep plate measures just over 14″  in diameter and was made in Spain at the turn of the 18th century. The enormous iron staples measure a whopping 1-1/4″  long and hold together the three broken pieces. Some of the staples have fallen out since they were first attached to the plate by an itinerant china mender over 150 years ago. At a much later date, metal wire was wrapped and clipped to the back of the plate to form a crude but effective hanging device.





Flight & Barr dish with 31 brass staples, c.1805

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

This high quality porcelain dish was made in Worcester, England, by manufacturers Flight & Barr. It is decorated with a wide Gothic influenced geometric border in gilt and burnt orange enamel. It measures 11-1/4″ by 7-7/8″ and dates to early 19th century. The underside has a beautifully hand painted mark in puce which reads “Flight & Barr, Worcester, Manufactures to Their Majesties,” as well as a small crown and an incised letter B.

After the dish was dropped and brought to a china mender for restoration, 31 brass staples were attached to make the dish complete and usable once again. The eight holes in-between the six staples at one end indicate that an earlier repair was made to the dish, but apparently they were removed. The second restoration, executed well over 100 years ago, was a success and the sturdy dish was most likely put back in service for use at the dinner table. But I would rather just admire it for the beauty and ingenuity of the repair and display it wrong side up.












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Kangxi plate with replaced chip, c.1700

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

This porcelain plate, which measures 11-1/4″ in diameter, was made in China for export to North America and Europe during the reign of the Kangxi Emperor (1662-1722). The nicely detailed underglaze design in various hues of blue, consists of 8 panels of birds, animals and flowers, with a central circular motif and a border of prunus and lotus blossoms. The underside reveals a variation of the Lingzhi fungus mark, which looks to me more like a lotus blossom.

In the 18th or early 19th century, when the plate became damaged, a china repairer smoothed out the jagged edges left by the break and created a larger, more even space to accommodate a new replacement piece – much like a dentist preparing to replace a missing tooth or insert a mouth guard for teeth grinding. The repairer formed a replacement chip repurposed from a smaller broken plate with similar blue decoration and drilled holes in three places on both the large plate and the chip. He then used four strands of thin wire to attach the chip and cement to fill in the holes around the wire. The replacement chip, which is literally rough around the edges, appears to be dancing on the edge of the plate, suspended by a tiny wire harness.











Pierced creamware fruit basket stand, c.1790

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

This 8-1/2″ round creamware fruit basket stand with nine lobed pierced openwork panels was made in England in the late 1700s. Creamware, a lightweight form of earthenware with a transparent high gloss glaze, was developed by Wedgwood in the mid-1700s and became so popular that it was soon copied by rival potters in Staffordshire, Derby and Leeds. It was originally paired with a matching basket, pierced to allow the fruit to breathe and not spoil as quickly. Because the openwork pattern is so delicate, many surviving examples are damaged. But I have not seen many with this unusual repair, which at first glance appears to be a standard staple job. Upon closer inspection you will see the “staples” are actually tightly wrapped bundles of ultra-thin brass wire. Many of the wire reinforcements pass through the open pierced pattern, making good use of existing holes straddling the cracks. This piece ended up with stains, no doubt a result of the dark fruit juice dripping out of the basket above and seeping through the cracks of the light colored, soft-paste pottery.

Though cracked and stained, it is a welcomed addition to my collection, especially since it was recently given to me by my high school French teacher who carried it on her lap during a flight from her home in Belgium to New York. Merci beaucoup, Marianne!

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Both the fruit basket and matching stand pictured below are in tip-top shape, neither in need of wire reinforcement.




Photo courtesy of 1stdibs

Basket case Victorian dish, c.1850

Saturday, May 11th, 2013

In honor of Mother’s Day, I am featuring a dish that only a mother could love. I believe it to be English from the mid 1800s and made of porcelain with hand painted decoration in cobalt, drab and gold. It is marked on the bottom with the numbers 4 over 554 and measures 9″ x 10″. This is truly one of the saddest antiques with inventive repairs I have ever seen, and believe me, it took much inner soul searching just to purchase it. I am breaking with tradition and showing the underside of the plate first. Take a deep breath…this is not going to be pretty.



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This dish must have held great sentimental value for its original owner. In order to make it “whole” again after being shattered over 100 years ago, it was professionally repaired using 10 large metal staples, overpainted to mask the unsightly raw material. Sadly, the dish was dropped AGAIN, resulting in the loss of 3 staples and a sloppy glue job, now yellow with age. To add insult to injury, later in life it was bound with a cat’s cradle worth of string and cord, so it could proudly hang on a wall for all the world to see the tenacity of this unlikely survivor.

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Clobbered Canton plate, c.1800

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

This Chinese porcelain plate started out life in the early 1800s with traditional blue underglaze Canton decoration. It was later painted over or “clobbered” with overglaze washes of red, green enamels and gilt highlights, without much thought to the original plate’s decoration. As the demand for more colorful wares increased throughout Europe, enterprising merchants painted over their slow selling blue and white ceramics. Much of the over decorating was done in the Netherlands, where the pieces were referred to as “Amsterdams Bont” (colorful wares from Amsterdam) . Plate measures 8-3/4″ in diameter.

After the plate dropped and broke in to 4 pieces, it was made whole again by the addition of 9 metal staples.

A “Chinese” mark on the bottom is actually part of the Dutch clobbered decoration.

This Canton plate shows what mine looked like before it was embellished.

Photo courtesy of Antique Helper

Worcester porcelain plate, c.1770

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

Porcelain plate made in England by Worcester in the late 1700s is brightly decorated with cartouches containing colorful floral sprays surrounded by gilt scrollwork and a scale background of mottled cobalt blue.

Unsigned plate measures 9-1/2″ in diameter.

Although most items I have seen repaired with metal staples are holding multiple pieces back together, this plate has bronze staples stabilizing cracks against further damage. I like how the symmetrical pattern of the cracks and the staples form an almost perfect peace sign.

Chinese charger with 35 staples, c.1730

Friday, September 9th, 2011

This large porcelain charger, made in China during the Yongzheng period (1723-35), measures 13-3/4″ in diameter. The famille-rose palette with predominantly pink colored enamel is made from colloidal gold, a suspension of gold particles mixed into the glaze.

The polychrome decoration of a large tree on a terrace with over-scaled flowers is painted in shades of green, pink and blue on a pale green ground.

After this charger was dropped and broke in to over 20 pieces of varying sizes, an itinerant china mender made it whole again by carefully drilling holes in to the underside of the porcelain and securing 35 metal staples to either side of the cracks.

The disarray of cracks and staples make a wonderful pattern of their own.

These unusual metal staples have a deep ridge running through each length.

“Wounded survivor” teapot, c.1810

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

What do you do when a staunch survivor of over 200 years and with multiple battle scars exposing its difficult life appears with a fresh wound? This teapot arrived from overseas with a shattered handle, much to my dismay. I have often said that there is nothing as redundant as a “broken” make-do so I plan on repairing the handle with an inventive repair of my own. Stay tuned.

Lushly decorated porcelain teapot with bun feet and matching stand, made in Derby, England around 1810. Teapot measures 6″ tall and 11″ wide from the tip of the spout to the end of the broken handle.

Hand painted polychrome decoration features a stylized gilt cachepot surrounded by elaborate scrollwork, floral flourishes, bunches of grapes and a Greek key border.

Well over 100 years ago, the tip of the damaged spout was fitted with a gilt-finish metal replacement and the neck was repaired with 5 metal staples, overpainted in white enamel to blend in.

The matching oval tray measures 6-1/2″ x 8″…

with a symmetrical break…

held back in place with the aid of 6 metal staples.

Marked on the underside with a red crown Derby mark and pattern number “770”.

Chinese Canton platter, c.1825

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

This large porcelain platter with blue & white underglaze decoration is commonly referred to as Canton. It was first made in China for export to North America and Europe in the 18th century and production continued through to the early 20th century. It was one of the first stapled pieces I purchased and it has travelled from Canton to London to Miami to Manhattan with, most likely, a few more stops along the way.

Metal patches were attached from the back and bolted though to the front, holding the three broken pieces together.

This large platter measures 15″ x 12″.

Iron patches with visible bolts have become loose over the years, not holding up as well as the more typically used metal staples.