Archive for July, 2010

Dublin newspaper ad, 1769

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Pue’s Occurrences, (Dublin Newspaper), 14th-18th February 1769

To the Nobility, Gentry, & c, Chinaware mended on a new principle.

A Crookshanks, China Riveter, from London; fronting the Blind-quay, Smock-alley, Dublin.  Has brought to the greatest perfection that much wanted ingenious art of mending all sorts of China, both useful and ornamental, in silver, brass or other metals, by a method particularly known to himself, and no other in this kingdom, which far exceeds the late practice both in strength, neatness, and duration, as has been sufficiently experienced by the nobility & gentry in Great Britain; the multiplicity of commands with which he has been honoured, which  sufficiently prove his excellence  and improvement in this art, which so effectively removes fractures, that it seems in most cases to strengthen and ornament the finest China, as it will ring as well as ever, is almost unperceivable to the eye, and will warrant it as when first new; and in many things that will admit of the work it is much more serviceable, as dishes, plates, bowls, etc,.  He in the neatest manner puts handles to mugs, silver or tin spouts to tea pots, coffee cups and all other things.

N.B. As the public has been greatly imposed upon by imposters and pretenders to the said art; any doubtful may have a pattern of his performance, as he desires, on other satisfaction that what the workmanship merits. As the want of this art has rendered great qualities of valuable China useless, when broken belonging to set and otherwise. He hopes for the favour and encouragement of the public; by directing as above he will wait on ladies and gentlemen and execute the commands with care and dispatch.

This transcript was provided by Irish collector Peter Francis

Photo courtesy of Timothy Hughes

Glass perfume bottle, c.1895

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

This strange pressed glass square-shaped bottle with molded Greek key band design was found in Virginia and sports a rustic “make-do” base. It has a mismatched, ill-fitting glass stopper of a different color, replacing a more fanciful stopper, no doubt. I imagine it would have looked a bit out of place on a lady’s vanity or dresser among her other delicate bottles and toiletries

Bottle stands 4″ high and has a square over-scaled unfinished wood base, replacing the original glass base that broke off years ago

This canning jar has the same Greek key design and is marked on the bottom: “HC” over a triangle, “Safety Valve Patd May 21, 1895”

Photo courtesy of Ed & Lucy Faulkner

“Amoy” pattern water jug, c.1845

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

This large transferware water jug dates from the mid-1800’s and was made in England by William Ridgway. It is decorated with the “Amoy” pattern, an exotic blue & white Chinoiserie design. It had a matching basin and was part of a larger wash set that would have been found on top of a bedroom washstand

Jug measures 13″ tall

Chinoiserie (“Chinese-esque”) decoration was quite popular in Europe since being introduced by the French in the 17th century. Playing with scale, it employs asymmetrical images of an imaginary China, its popularity peaking by the middle of the 18th century

Marked in cobalt blue “AMOY W.R.” on the bottom

When the original handle snapped off, a large metal handle with thumb rest and finger grip was strapped on to make the jug functional

This blue & white transfer jug has a simple handle; most likely the same shape was on my jug

Photo courtesy of Country Living

Teapot with heavy metal handle, c.1750

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Chinese export globe-shaped porcelain teapot with Mandarin style decoration in the famille verte palette. This teapot, like many others in my collection, is missing its lid. As other teapots I own have replaced or mismatched lids, I find it curious that the many teapots I find missing their lids have remained lidless

Teapot measures 5″ tall

An identical scene on both sides depicts men and boys, some sitting around a table surrounded by many objects, seemingly a variation of the noted “hundred antiques” pattern

The broken handle was replaced long ago with an existing iron handle taken from another object and adapted to fit this teapot. Although it is larger than the original handle was and looks out of proportion with the scale of the small teapot, it does the trick in making the pot once again functional

This teapot, similar in form and design to mine (and also missing its lid), shows what the original handle would have looked like

Photo courtesy of Collect Fair

Blown glass goblet, c.1850

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Simply shaped thick-walled goblet of hand blown glass, possibly made in Germany and used for drinking beer, measures 5-1/4″ high.

A well made unpainted round tin base replaces the broken glass base, created by a skilled tinsmith in the late 1800’s.

Similar shaped glass goblet show with a trumpet shaped stem.

Photo courtesy of eBay

Spongeware candle holder, c.1870

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

When the stem and base of a 19th century metal candle stick became damaged, someone took the surviving bowl and attached it to a simple ceramic pearlware dish with sponged “flow blue” decoration. The result of that marriage is this more practical candle holder, which measures 5-7/8″ in diameter.

The metal bowl was attached to the dish using a short screw and early butterfly nut.

Due to the nut’s protrusion through the bottom, the candle holder does not sit well on a surface and makes for a less than ideal (and somewhat dangerous) candle holder.

Drabware syrup jug, c.1880

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Paneled body pottery syrup jug with drab colored matte finish glaze. Original hinged lid is marked “Dixon & Sons” and is made of Britannian metal (aka Britannium), a composite made up of 93% tin, 5% antimony & 2% copper

Made in England with a molded Celtic inspired scrollwork pattern

Replaced tin handle has nice crimped edge detailing and is soldered on to the lid at the top and bolted through the jug at the bottom. Jug measures 6-1/2″ high

This jug with identical form shows what the original ornate handle on my jug would have looked like before it broke off.

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Photo courtesy of eBay

Small Yixing teapot

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

This tiny, fully functioning Yixing teapot is a copy of one made in China in the mid-19th century and measures a mere  2-1/4″ high by  3-3/4″ wide. It is not a miniature teapot, as is evident from the tiny hole in lid knob which allows steam to escape. Unlike Western tea drinking, the Eastern method is to drink smaller quantities of tea more frequently throughout the day, which requires smaller teapots to be used

When the delicate handle broke in two places, three small gold cuffs were attached to reinforce the breaks and make the teapot function once again

The incised marks on the bottom read: “qie xi bei zhong tong meng chen” which roughly translates to “this small Meng Chen style pot will absorb the flavor of the tea”. Although I bought this piece from a London antiques dealer claiming it to be a genuine antique, a knowledgeable reader recently informed me that it was instead a well done copy of an earlier teapot. Please see his comment below for more information

Hundreds of Yixing teapots were discovered intact during the excavation of the Desaru shipwreck, a Chinese ship with a cargo of ceramics that sank in 1830. The shipwreck was discovered by fishermen in Malaysia in May 2001

Photo courtesy of Ming Wrecks

Child’s waste bowl, c.1830

Monday, July 19th, 2010

A child’s waste bowl with brown printed transfer decoration on soft paste pearlware pottery, made in England in the early 1800’s. This small waste bowl was part of a child’s tea set which would have included a teapot, cream jug, sugar jar, plates, cups & saucers. The waste bowl (aka slop bowl) was used for emptying unwanted cold tea before refilling a cup with hot tea

One side of the bowl has a printed design depicting a girl and boy chasing a butterfly…

…the other side shows the same girl and boy after the successful capture of the butterfly

After the bowl was dropped and broke in to four pieces, it was taken to a tinsmith who created an elaborate metal truss to keep it intact. A puddle of light blue glaze seen on the inner rim confirms this to be a piece of pearlware pottery. Bowl measures 2-1/2″ high and has a diameter of 5″

Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy

Friday, July 16th, 2010

When I was in Florence, Italy last year I was taken to Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy, established by Dominican monks in the 13th century and now one of the oldest pharmacies in the world. I found it to be more of a museum which also happens to sell soaps and elixirs, with many gorgeous rooms filled with faded antique furnishings and fresco painted walls. Much to my delight, I stumbled upon a glass showcase in a back room, filled with antique pottery with inventive repairs. I am guessing that very few people in the pharmacy take notice of the unusual ceramic vessels with prosthetic handles

The antique majolica apothecary jar in front has replacement handles made of metal which copied the shape of the original ceramic handles, as seen on the intact jars behind it

The four antique majolica apothecary jars in the back row all have similar metal replacement handles, copying the shape of the original handles seen on the three  jars in front of them

Photo courtesy of Flickr