Archive for the ‘plate/platter’ Category

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.

Royal Crown Derby plate, c.1880

Monday, June 28th, 2010

English pottery plate with popular “Japan style” decoration in the Imari palette of dark blue, red and gold on white. Plate measures 7″ in diameter and bears no manufacturer marks. Please see an earlier entry, “Wedgwood Imari Teapot, 1880” posted on March 13, 2010, which has a similar decoration

When the plate was dropped and broke in to seven pieces, a china mender used thirteen small metal staples to mend the breaks

White enamel paint was used to help mask the “unsightly” repair job

“Pleat & Panel” glass cake stand, c.1882

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Early American Pattern Glass (aka EAPG) cake stand in the “Pleat & Panel” pattern made by  Bryce Brothers in Pittsburgh, PA, dates from 1882. It measures 6-3/4″ high and has a 9″ x 9″ top surface

A simple metal sleeve encases the broken stem after it snapped. This is one of the more simple, yet effective repairs I have seen

An identical cake stand below did not suffer the same fate as mine and sports an unscathed stem

Photo courtesy of Silver Quill Antiques

6 matching “Log Cabin” plates, c.1790

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Every one of these six matching broken Chinese export porcelain plates is held together with large brass staples, visible only from the back. I imagine the complete set of dishes was much larger than the six repaired examples I own, but I am thankful someone weeded out the “perfect” ones and left me with the more interesting much preferred damaged goods!

Out of all of the different types of inventive repairs I have shown thus far, people seem to be the most fascinated with staple & rivet repairs. I will be showing rare illustrations and photos documenting this repair procedure in upcoming posts, so please stay tuned.

Plate 1, The champion with 14 staple repairs.

Plate 2, another winner and tied for first place with 14 staples.

Plate 3, repaired with an impressive 9 staples.

Plate 4, not too shabby with 8 staples.

Plate 5, another plate with 8 staple repairs.

Plate 6, still lovely with an impressive 6 staples.

This detail shows the rich cobalt blue underglaze “log cabin” decoration, inspired by an English design by Spode. This pattern is also known as “trench mortar”.

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