Posts Tagged ‘Chinese’

Chinese porcelain sauce boat, c.1760

Saturday, May 28th, 2016

This elongated Baroque serpentine form silver shape sauce boat was made in China during the Qianlong period (1736-1796). It is made of porcelain and decorated in the Famille Rose palette, with hand painted flowers, ducks, and garden stools in pink, green, blue, and white enamels with gilt highlights. It measures 9-3/4 inches long by 3-5/8 inches high.

Well over 150 years ago when the original simple loop handle snapped off, a “china mender” fashioned a replacement handle, which was riveted to the body. To help insulate the metal from the hot contents, rattan was wrapped and woven around the handle. This would have been one of a pair of matching sauce boats and was a part of a large dinner service. I wonder if it was separated from its mate and other “perfect” serving pieces, as was often the case.

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The original handle on this sauce boat, with identical form and similar decoration, gives you an idea of what the handle on my sauce boat would have looked like.

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Photo courtesy of Online Galleries

Chinese floral cream jug, c.1760

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

This porcelain baluster form cream jug with sparrow beak spout has floral decoration painted with polychrome enamels in the Famille Rose palette. It was made in China, circa 1760, and measures 4.5 inches tall.

After the original porcelain handle broke off, a rattan-wrapped bronze replacement handle was added. The missing patch of woven rattan reveals a bent section of bamboo just under the handle which was added to help cushion the bare metal. The tactile ridges in the rattan also make the handle easier to grip.

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

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Photo courtesy of De Franse Lelie

Chinese porcelain plate with staples, c.1710

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

This early 1700s hexagonal porcelain plate was made in China during the Kangxi Period (1662-1722). It has an unglazed hexagonal rim and foot rim, with a cobalt blue underglaze garden design and floral border. It  measures 9 inches in diameter.

After the plate took a tumble, it was put back together using three large metal staples, aka rivets, as well as an unusual pewter plug. Unlike the majority of the staple repairs I come across, the holes drilled to accommodate the staples go all the way through to the front, resulting in a nice dot pattern. With strong graphics appearing on the front and back of the plate, I deliberately display both sides.

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Mandarin mug to jug transformation, c.1840

Monday, February 15th, 2016

This is one of the more unusual transformation pieces I have in my collection. Much like the butterfly painted on the reverse side, it began life as one thing and transformed into something entirely different. I call it a metamorphosis mug. Made between 1830 and 1850, this Chinese export porcelain mug in the Famille Rose Mandarin palette was converted to a milk jug with the addition of a silver spout. It has two decorated panels, one with a courtyard scene and the other with images of exotic birds, butterflies, fruits and flowers. It stands 4-1/2 inches high and is 5-1/2 inches wide from handle to spout.

The silver mount has an 1871 London hallmark. Although I have many examples of silver spouts, handles and lids, it is rare to find hallmarks that date and place a repair. I particularly like the ornate sparrow beak spout.

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This mug was happy being a mug and felt no need to spread its wings and become a jug.

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Photo courtesy of Mimi’s Antiques

Wu Shuang Pu cup, c.1870

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

This Chinese porcelain cup is decorated in cobalt blue with a Peerless Hero figure, stacked bottles and calligraphy taken from Wu Shuang Pu (Table of Peerless Heroes), a late 17th century book of woodcut prints by Jin Guliang. The cup measures 2-3/4 inches high, with an opening diameter of 3-1/2 inches.

After the cup broke in half, over 100 years ago, it was repaired with pairs of metal staples set in cement. Judging from the flattened lozenge-shaped staples made from repurposed wire, this repair was most likely done in the Middle East where itinerant china menders set up shop directly in the streets. But even with the doubled up staples and binding cement, more than a few staples have jumped ship, leaving just tiny empty holes as a reminder of its time in the china mender’s hands.

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Chinese dollhouse sugar bowl, c.1690

Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

This Chinese export porcelain dollhouse miniature with blue underglaze floral decoration dates from the Kangxi period (1662-1722) and stands nearly 2 inches tall. Contrary to popular belief, miniatures like this were displayed in doll houses owned by wealthy adults and were not intended to be played with by children.

Surprisingly, this little gem was not always a sugar bowl but actually started life as a baluster form vase. After it took a tumble, a silversmith kept the surviving middle section, added a minuscule silver lid, handles and base, and voila…a sugar bowl was born. A tiny Dutch hallmark in the shape of a sword can be seen on the bottom of the base, dating it to 1814-1905. The small sword mark was used on silver pieces too small to accommodate full hallmarks.

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Shown below is an intact miniature vase, standing just 2-1/2″ tall. It appears that the middle section on a similar vase was used to make the sugar bowl.

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Chinese teapot with replaced metal handle, c.1760

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

This globular form porcelain teapot was made in China in the mid-1700s for export to Europe and North America. It measures 6 inches high and 9 inches from handle to spout and is decorated in the famille rose palette with a coral scale ground and puce flowers.

Soon after the teapot dropped and the handle shattered, it was taken to a tinker, jeweler or metalsmith who fashioned this nicely made metal replacement handle. To help insulate delicate hands from the hot contents, the handle was encased in woven rattan. I have dozens of examples of woven rattan handles and have noticed distinctly different patterns among them. I am hoping to one day match up the woven handle patterns to specific makers, although I know that is a long shot. As an added bonus, a small section of missing rattan has been patched using string, no doubt at a later date, a true case of a make-do making-do.

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This teapot with similar form and decoration shows what the original loop handle on my teapot looked like before it took a tumble.

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Photo courtesy of Earle Vandekar of Knightsbridge

Chinese Mandarin cup, c.1760

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

This cup is a mess! It’s a 2.5 inch high Chinese porcelain cup from the Qianlong period (1736-1795) with multi-color enamel decoration in the Mandarin style. Well over 150 years ago when it dropped and shattered into 12 pieces, it was most likely taken to an itinerant “dish mender” who carefully applied 15 metal staples to bring it back to life. A bit of plaster was used to fill in a few gaps left by lost fragments. Past owners really must have cherished this little mug, as it managed to survive many centuries looking like this. As my grandmother would have said, “Oy Vey!”

This cup, in much better condition than mine, shows what an intact example looks like.

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Photo courtesy of eBay

Make-do’s at the MET, part 4

Saturday, June 20th, 2015

I spotted this during my last visit to the American Wing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The description in the showcase says more than I could possibly say:

“This extraordinary punchbowl features a remarkably faithful replica of the engraved certificate, dated December 1785, issued to Ebenezer Stevens (1751-1823) by the Society of the Cincinnati. Stevens was a major-general in command of the New York artillery and was vice president of the New York branch of the society. The decorative silver-gilt mount on the rim and around the foot were probably made during the early nineteenth century in response to an earlier crack—evidence of the extent to which the bowl was valued by its owner…”

Punch Bowl
Date: ca. 1786–90
Geography: China
Culture: Chinese, for American market
Medium: Porcelain
Dimensions: Diam. 16 in. (40.6 cm)
Classification: Ceramics
Credit Line: Gift of Lucille S. Pfeffer, 1984
Accession Number: 1984.449

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Imari teapot with silver spout, c.1720

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015

This thrice-repaired Chinese porcelain globular form teapot with Japanese influenced Imari decoration, is painted with a large chrysanthemum motif in underglaze blue, overglaze iron red and gilding, surrounded by stylized scrolling foliage. The bullet shape was inspired by European silver of the same period. It measures 4-1/2″  high and 7-1/2″  wide from handle to spout and dates to around 1720.

After the teapot was dropped over 200 years ago, resulting in a broken handle and spout, it was taken to a skilled silversmith who created this unusual silver zoomorphic replacement spout, added an engraved silver collar and used metal staples to repair the handle. In my opinion, the silver additions transform a perfectly nice teapot into a unique work of art.

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This nearly identical teapot shows what the original spout on mine looked like before it took a tumble.

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Photo courtesy of Moorabool Antiques