Archive for April, 2018

Chinese teapot with wicker handle, c.1760

Sunday, April 22nd, 2018

This globular form porcelain teapot was made in China, c.1750-1770, where it was decorated with flowers and leaves in blue under glaze. Soon after it was exported to the Netherlands, ceramics with simple blue and white decoration fell out of favor, and more colorful designs were the new trend. To keep up with the demand, this teapot was overpainted with birds and flowers in red, green, black, and gold enamels. Amsterdams Bont (colorful [work] from Amsterdam) is the term used to describe this form of decoration. Pieces with overpainted decoration done in England at around the same time are referred to as being clobbered. Teapot measures 4.75 inches high, 6.5 inches from handle to spout.

As if the skittish overpainted decoration isn’t enough for me, this teapot has an unusual woven wicker replacement handle and straps, which make it a grand slam. I have only come across a handful of entirely woven repairs/replacements, which were most likely done by basket makers, rather than tinkers or jewelers. Take a look at these other examples with similarly woven handles: Large jug with woven handle, c.1820 and Pearlware blue & white cream jug, c.1820.

This teapot of similar form shows what the original handle on mine might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of M. Ford Creech

Revive, Remix, Respond at The Frick Pittsburgh

Sunday, April 15th, 2018

Last weekend I attended the exhibit Revive, Remix, Respond: Contemporary Ceramic Artists and The Frick Pittsburgh. It was curated by Associate Curator of Decorative Arts, Dawn Brean and included works by Bouke de Vries, Stephen Bowers, Steven Young Lee, and Paul Scott.

The exhibit features work by 19 artists responding to pieces in the Frick Pittsburgh’s collection. Here are a few examples by ceramic artists who embrace the art of inventive repair or repurposing.

Bouke de Vries

Steven Young Lee

Stephen Bowers

Chinese tea canister, c.1700

Sunday, April 8th, 2018

This porcelain tea canister is simply stunning. It was made in China during the Kangxi period (1662-1722) and is decorated with blue underglaze enamel depicting mountainous landscapes on both sides. The ends are painted with flowers among jagged rocks. It measures 4.75 inches high, 3 inches wide, 2 inches deep.

It is unusual to find tea canisters with their original lids so I am not surprised that this one has a metal replacement. Then again, if it had its original lid I would not have bought it! Having seen dozens of tea canisters with replacement lids made from various materials including silver, tin, and wood, I find this simple cylindrical bronze replacement the perfect topper.

This tea canister with similar form and decorations shows what the original lid might have looked like on mine.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Happy Easter & Passover!

Sunday, April 1st, 2018

A few staples should take care of that.