Posts Tagged ‘Chinese’

Riveted Chinese Imari plate, c.1760

Sunday, March 4th, 2018

This porcelain plate was made in China during the Qianlong period (1736-95) and measures nearly 9 inches in diameter. It has a central motif of branches and flowers in the Japanese Imari palette of cobalt blue underglaze with red and gold overglaze washes. A fine plate, in my humble opinion, but not an extraordinary example by any means.

But…when the plate is turned over, the true beauty and the reason that I purchased it for my collection, is revealed. 34 small brass staples, seen only on the underside, clamp together the 8 broken pieces as tight as when the repair was done, over 200 years ago. Even though stapling, aka riveting, is the most common form of inventive repair, I still marvel at examples such as this. And naturally, I would proudly display it with the “wrong” side out.

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 basin bowl with 136 metal staples, c.1865

Sunday, February 4th, 2018

This large porcelain bowl was made in China durning the Tongzhi period (1862–1874). It is decorated with warrior figures, a horse, an interior scene & flowers in the famille rose palette and measures 14.75 inches in diameter and is 4.75 inches high. Originally it would have been part of a set which most likely included a matching water jug.

But the true beauty for me lies on the underside. After the bowl broke into 2 pieces, a skilled and patient china mender used 136 metal staples, placed in pairs, to make this broken bowl whole again. The work is extraordinary and the repair is tight, making it usable. And as you can see in the last photo, Oscar demonstrates that it also makes for a comfortable cat bed.

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

Mounted Kangxi dish, c.1750

Sunday, September 24th, 2017

This porcelain dish was made in China for export to Europe in the middle 1700s. It is decorated with figures in blue, red, green, and black enamels and measures 8 inches long, including the mount, with a diameter of 4.25 inches.

Not only was this dish repaired on the underside using 4 metal staples, each .25 inches long, but a fragment from another piece was added to the ornate bronze rococo mount. Please take a look at an earlier post with a similar porcelain dish and bronze mount: Kanji period dish, c.1700.


Chinese Imari tea cup, c.1750

Sunday, August 27th, 2017

This petite porcelain tea cup has floral decoration in the Imari palette, including cobalt blue, red, and gold. It was made in China during the Qianlong period (1736-95) and most likely would have been a part of a larger dinner service. It measures 2.5 inches high.

Well over 100 years ago, its original loop handle snapped off and was fitted with a nicely done, well proportioned metal replacement. I especially like the two-tone checkerboard pattern of the woven rattan, which might have been the calling card of the repairer. I have dozens of examples of wrapped metal handles and I like comparing the various styles and patterns of the rattan.

This cup with similar form and decoration suggests what the original handle on my cup would have looked like.

Photo courtesy of Stockspring Antiques

“Disgrace is Worse than Death” armorial plate, c.1755

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

This octagonal porcelain armorial plate measures 8.5 inches in diameter and was made in China for export to England in the mid 1700s. It has floral decoration in the famille rose palette with gilt highlights and features a prominent coat of arms. It was part of a large dinnerware service, consisting of hundreds of matching pieces, each with the same hand painted decoration.

After this once broken plate was repaired with 4 sturdy metal staples over 200 years ago, it was most likely weeded out from the rest of the set later in its life by an antiques dealer who didn’t want imperfect pieces mingling with untarnished ones. I found the plate at a small antiques fair in London a few years ago and brought it back with me to New York City, where it now coexists with other former orphans, each scarred but accepted for their imperfections.

From Chinese Armorial Porcelain by David Sanctuary Howard, p.539:
“The arms, beneath a knight’s helm, are of Shard of Horsleydown in Surrey, Argent a bend sable, in chief a bugle horn of the last in base a stag’s head couped proper attire of the third; crest, A lion passant per pale or and sable guttee counterchanged, resting the dexter paw on a bugle horn of the second; impaling Clark of Sanford, Azure two bars or, on a chief of the last three escallops sable (see Clarke P22); motto ‘Pejus letho flagitium’ (‘Disgrace is worse than Death’).
These arms were borne by Sir Abraham Shard, of Kennington in Surrey, who died before this service was made in August 1746 (and from whom these arms the helm was probably copied). The service was probably made for his son or nephew or for another descendant of Sir Isaac Shard, whose daughter Martha married about 1710 Roger Hill (uncle of Abigail Lockey, third wife of Lewis Way – see Way with Lockey in pretence, P18).”


This large serving platter is from the same dinnerware service as my plate. Too bad it doesn’t have early staple repairs.

Photo courtesy of Dubey’s Art & Antiques

Toy dog with replaced coat, c.1920

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

This humble little fellow, with tiny glass eyes and standing just 3.75 inches high, lost his fur coat long ago. He was made in China in the 1920s from papier mache covered in flannel. Thanks to an enterprising individual, our canine friend can keep warm again, and be in the height of fashion, with his new snappy coat made from layered pieces of cloth tape.

Thank you Cousin Carol for this fine gift, a welcome addition to my collection!

Chinese Imari teapot with double repair, c.1720

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

This bullet-form porcelain teapot has it all: good looks, great form, a winning personality, and two different early inventive repairs. It was made in China for export during the Kangxi period (1662-1722) and is decorated with floral sprays in the Japanese Imari palette with bold colors and strong graphics. It measures 4 inches high and 6.5 inches wide from handle to spout.

At some point in its early life, a spoutless teapot was brought to a repairer who made a simple metal replacement spout. Not long after, it was brought back to be fitted for a wicker covered bronze replacement handle. A friend once showed me a similarly shaped teapot that had met such an end. And by merely sealing up the hole left by the missing spout and grinding down the handle terminals, the original owner lost a teapot but gained a sugar bowl. As much as I marvel at the ingenuity of that transformation, I am glad my broken teapot is still a teapot.

This teapot with similar form and decoration shows what the original handle and spout might have looked like on mine.

Photo courtesy of Alain Truong

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.