Posts Tagged ‘blue & white’

Chinese mug with large replacement handle, c.1770

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

This cylindrical form porcelain mug was made in China during the third quarter of the eighteenth century. It is decorated in the Nanking pattern with trees, birds, pagodas and boats, using cobalt blue underglaze enamel. It measures 4.75 inches high with a 3.5 inch opening.

It appears that this mug has a story to tell, as its original strap handle has gone astray and is now fitted with a rusty iron replacement. Perhaps a bar room brawl resulted in the loss, or someone dropped the mug while clearing the table, or during a wash-up. We may never know for sure how the deed was done but I am thankful the owner had the good sense to have a tinker replace the handle, rather than throw out the broken mug. Isn’t it remarkable that this chipped survivor from 250 years ago is still able to engaging us and stir our imaginations?

This mug with similar form and decoration shows what the original strap handle might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of eBay

Chinese porcelain milk jug, c.1765

Sunday, January 28th, 2018

This baluster shaped milk jug with a molded spout was made in the style of European silver and decorated in the Famille Rose palette, using cobalt blue, green, puce, and iron-red enamels. It was made in China during the Qianlong period (1736-95) and measures 7 inches high.

Sometime in the late 1700s to middle 1800s, a metal handle wrapped in rattan was added, replacing the original broken one. To add insult to injury, the lid went missing at one point over the past 250+ years.  It’s too bad a replacement lid wasn’t made at the time the original one was lost. I may attempt to make a new one, that is if my tin making skills improve.

This milk jug with similar form shows what the original handle on mine might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of ShangriLa

Blue & white transferware dish, c.1830

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

This serving dish was made in England by Wedgwood, c.1830. It is decorated with a blue transfer scene depicting buildings, ships, trees, and overscaled flowers along the border. On the underside is the stamped mark “WEDGWOOD’S STONE CHINA”. It measures 9 inches square.

Well over 100 years ago when this dish broke in half, it was brought to a “china mender” who repaired it using 12 metal staples, aka rivets. Originally it had a cover but I am guessing that when it took a tumble the lid was broken beyond repair. But at least the more functional piece survived and thanks to the handiwork of a 19th century restorer, this dish can still be used today.


This covered dish of similar form and decoration still has its original cover.


Photo courtesy of eBay

Blue transfer printed pearlware jug, c.1825

Saturday, August 5th, 2017

This Dutch form pottery jug with pearlware glaze and sparrow beak spout was made in England in the first quarter of the 19th century. Standing nearly 4.25 inches high and 5.75 inches from handle to spout, it has blue transfer decoration, combining a pastoral scene with a shepherd, ancient ruins, and a lush border of flowers and fruit along the rim.

Well over 100 years ago, the original loop handle became detached and immediate surgery was needed. Luckily for the jug and its owner, a tinker made a metal replacement handle and bolted it to the jug. To help mask the repair, the new handle was painted blue and white to match the existing decoration. Curiously, a hole on the side was filled with lead, much like a cavity in a tooth. Not the most elegant repair job I have seen but it certainly does the trick.

This jug with similar form and decoration shows what my jug might have looked like before its accident.

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Photo courtesy of eBay

Welsh jug with metal handle, c.1850

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

This little pearlware pottery cream jug was made in the unpronounceable village of Ynysmeudwy, Wales during the mid-19th century and was part of a child’s tea set. It is decorated with moulded relief of hunters, dogs, and flowers, with flow blue glaze and copper lustre bands at the rim and base. It stands nearly 3.5 inches high and is marked “35” in copper lustre on the underside.

As is true of the many fragile items for children that I have in my collection, this poor jug must have slipped from the hands of a nervous child, who no doubt was told to handle it with care. Well over 100 years ago, as a result of the mishap, a tinker made a sturdy metal replacement handle. There must have been a lot of pressure placed on small children when they were given delicate playthings like this, and unjustly punished when the inevitable happened. I can just imagine the collective sigh of relief heard worldwide when children were given unbreakable toys made of plastic to toss about as they pleased.

This jug of similar form and decoration suggests what the original handle on mine might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of eBay

Chinese Qianlong plate, c.1750

Friday, April 7th, 2017

This plate was made in China during the Qianlong period (1736–1795) for export to North America and Europe. It measures nearly 9.25 inches in diameter and is decorated in cobalt blue over a light blue ground.

Well over 225 years ago after the plate dropped and a large chunk along the rim broke off, it was taken to a china mender who reattached the broken pieces using metal staples. Hand marked in red on the underside is “Mrs. Lou Pearson”, which I assume is the name of the owner who brought the plate in for repair. Signed pieces such as this are uncommon and bring us one step closer to the mostly undocumented world of the men and women who did these marvelous, anonymous repairs.

Qianlong punch pot, c.1760

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

This large porcelain Chinese punch pot with blue & white floral decoration was made during the Qianlong period (1736-1795). It measures nearly 9 inches high and 11 inches from handle to spout.

In the mid-1700s, alcoholic punch, which consisted of spirits, water, sugar, nutmeg, and spices, was served in what looks like oversized teapots. I guess too much alcohol was added to an early batch, as whoever held this pot at the time was a bit tipsy and dropped it. After the handle shattered, it was taken to a tinker who made a bronze replacement. The raw metal was wrapped in wicker to protect one’s hands from the hot contents of the pot. Over the past 200 years or so since the repair was made, much of the wicker has fallen off, exposing the metal. I can only hope that the next person who fills this pot with hot punch remains sober and keeps a tight grasp on it.

This punch pot of similar form shows with the original handle on mine most likely looked like.

Photo courtesy of Doyle

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.





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.


Photo courtesy of Santos

Large jug with woven handle, c.1820

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

Early in my collecting days I purchased a small pottery cream jug with blue & white transfer decoration and a wonderful wicker replacement handle. I had not seen a repair quite like it before, woven, I believe, by a basket maker. Flash forward about 20 years when I was notified by one of my favorite dealers in the UK who offered me another jug with a similar woven handle. The photo he sent did not show the scale, so I had no idea what size the jug was. When an oversized parcel arrived a couple of weeks later, I unpacked what turned out to be a HUGE jug.

This Dutch shape pottery jug with blue and white transfer decoration and woven rattan replacement handle was made in England in the first quarter of the 1800s. Measuring 9.25 inches high and 12.5 inches wide from lip to handle, it is marked “Lasso” on the underside. It must have been much loved over the past 200 years, as is evident by the unusual replacement handle and large hole worn away on the bottom. Although unable to hold liquids today, this impressive jug and ultimate survivor still commands respect merely by sitting quietly on a shelf in my home.

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This jug with similar form and decoration shows what the original handle on my jug may have looked like.

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Photo courtesy of Applecross Antiques

Chinese coffee can, c.1750

Sunday, July 10th, 2016

This cylindrical form porcelain coffee can (or coffee cup, outside of the UK) is decorated with cobalt blue underglaze decoration and has brown glaze along the rim. It was made in China during the Qianlong period (1711-1799) for export most likely to North America and Europe. It measures 2.5 inches tall.

Well over one hundred years ago, this small cup slipped from someone’s grasp, resulting in its handle snapping off. Rather than being tossed out, the precious cup was taken to a “china mender” who fashioned a sturdy iron replacement handle wrapped in rattan. The woven rattan acts as an insulant from the hot contents and allows for a tighter grip.

This coffee can with the same form and similar decoration shows what the original handle on mine might have looked like.


Photo courtesy of Etsy