Posts Tagged ‘commemorative’

Character jug with stapled face, c.1924

Saturday, June 17th, 2017

Is this another monster created by Dr. Frankenstein? Not exactly, but it looks like his English relative.

This blue-glazed pottery character jug in the form of British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin was designed by Percy Metcalfe and produced in Surrey, England, by Ashtead Potters between 1923-1929. It stands 7.5 inches high and is boldly marked on the underside and numbered 202 of a limited edition of one thousand.

We will never know for sure if the jug became broken accidentally or if it was thrown in disgust as a result of a disagreement over the political views of the Right Honorable Stanley Baldwin. Either way, four small metal staples were used to repair his broken face. Ouch, that’s gotta hurt!

Three other commemorative jugs were made in this series. Shown here in Pearl Barley glaze, they include Attorney General Lord Hailsham (Douglas McGarel Hogg), British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, and Australian Prime Minister Stanley Melbourne Bruce.

Photo courtesy of Ashtead Pottery

William of Orange commemorative jug, c.1840

Saturday, October 17th, 2015

This colorful soft paste baluster form commemorative jug was made in England around 1840 and is decorated with a figure of William of Orange on horseback, figures showing brotherly love, a crown, flowers and Protestant emblems. It has polychrome glazed black transfer decoration, hand painted flowers and pink lustre trim, measuring 6 inches tall and 7-3/4 inches wide from handle to spout.

After the original handle broke off, a tinker secured the sturdy copper replacement handle to the body using two flat screws. See an earlier post, Inventive repairs at the Rijksmuseum, showing a painting, Prince’s Day by Jan Havicksz Steen (1625-1679), depicting the birthday celebration of Prince William III of Orange-Nassau on November 14, 1650.

IMG_8667 - Version 2

IMG_8668

IMG_8670

IMG_8672 - Version 2

IMG_8674

IMG_8680

IMG_8681

IMG_8682

IMG_8686

This jug with the same transfer decoration still has its original handle intact.

orange jug

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

IMG_9147

IMG_9148

IMG_9149

IMG_9152

Sunderland Bridge etched glass jug, c.1840

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

This unusual hand blown commemorative glass jug with applied handle was made in England around 1840 and stands 6-1/4″ high. It features beautifully engraved images including a frigate in full sail under the Wearmouth Bridge in Sunderland, an oval cartouche with “WH” monogram, an elaborate fruit basket, a spray of wheat, roses and grapes. Examples of Sunderland souvenirs made of glass are more unusual than the popular pottery pieces with colorful transfer decoration, overglaze washes and pink lustre highlights.

The Wearmouth Bridge was completed in 1796 but was still being commemorated well into the middle of the 19th century. When opened it was the longest single span bridge in the world. The original bridge was replaced in 1929 and is still in use today.

It must have taken a skilled hand to stabilize the large horizontal crack using just 5 metal rivets. The underside reveals a ground pontil mark, as well as scratches and wear, showing that this jug has been well used. But it’s remarkable that a fragile glass jug such as this hasn’t sustained even more wear and damage over the past 175 years.

IMG_8846

IMG_8858

IMG_8850

IMG_8860

IMG_8854

IMG_8855

IMG_8857

wearmouth1796bridge8

Photo courtesy of The Sunderland Site

Napoleonic War commemorative mug, c.1814

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

I am a big fan of commemorative pottery, particularly ones with strong graphics and bright colors. Whenever I spot an example from afar in a shop, I secretly hope that it has some sort of inventive repair. Sometimes I get lucky. This creamware mug with printed transfer and hand colored decoration boasts the message “Peace of Europe Signed at Paris May 30, 1814.” Made in 1814 by Bristol Pottery in England to celebrate the signing of the peace treaty marking the end of war with France, this mug measures 4-3/4″ tall and 5-1/4″ wide to end of handle. Check out the details in photos showing the Bristol Pottery mark, the factory in the background, and ships with wood crates no doubt filled with pottery for export.

This mug possesses numerous battle scars, including chips, cracks, and the loss of its original loop handle. After the handle broke off, a 19th century tinker replaced it by drilling through the body and attaching a metal replacement with two square fasteners. To add insult to injury, the replacement handle is covered in rust, a result of further neglect. But if this mug were in “perfect” condition, I would not have purchased it.

IMG_8060

IMG_8053 - Version 2

IMG_8063

IMG_8062

IMG_8059

IMG_8054

IMG_8065

IMG_8066

IMG_8067

This example, with different copy and overglaze coloring, can be found in the collection of the British Museum in London.

IMG_0311

Masonic creamware mug, c.1800

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

This cylindrical form creamware mug was made by Herculaneum Pottery in Liverpool, England, circa 1800. I am a sucker for bold graphics so you can understand why I like this mug so much. It is covered with black transfer decoration of Masonic symbols and stands 5 inches high, with an opening of 3-1/2 inches.

What makes this early mug so special to me is the sturdy silver replacement handle. Although unmarked, it appears to have been made by a silversmith in the early 20th century. An elaborate silver mounting system was devised to hold the new handle in place by mounting it to a broad plate and attaching it to a rim and base. The choice to mount the replacement handle, as opposed to drill through the body and bolt on a new handle, may have saved the mug from possible leakage and more damage. Typically, I do not polish metal repairs, as I feel the darkened patina adds to the overall appearance of the piece. I like how the tarnished silver is close to the color of the printed decoration, enhancing this clever repair even more.

IMG_8704 - Version 2

IMG_8718

IMG_8715

IMG_8706

IMG_8716

IMG_8708

IMG_8717

IMG_8710

IMG_8713

This mug with the same form and decoration shows what my mug would have looked like with its original handle intact.

Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 4.01.48 PM

Photo courtesy of Bramfords

Worcester “King of Prussia” mug, c.1757

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

I purchased this first period bell-shaped Worcester porcelain mug from a dealer in the UK who has been feeding my compulsive desire for antiques with inventive repairs for many years. It has a black transfer print of Frederick the Great, the King of Prussia, along with military trophies, an angel blowing a trumpet, and a putto with a wreath. It is dated 1757 under his left arm and marked RH (for Robert Hancock) Worester and an anchor mark for Richard Holdship (a rebus for his last name.) The decoration was taken from Richard Houston’s engraving after a painting by Antoine Pesne.

This is one of those items that if I saw one in a shop in “perfect” condition, I would secretly wish it had an early repair, as I am drawn to strong graphic images on ceramics. Luckily for me, this one has a metal replacement handle, attached by a metalsmith after the original loop handle broke off, as well as two metal staples to help stabilize a crack.

IMG_8035

IMG_8318

IMG_8037

IMG_8049

IMG_8039

IMG_8040

IMG_8042

IMG_8043

IMG_8038

IMG_8052

IMG_8044

IMG_8048

During my recent visit to the UK, I spotted the same transfer decoration on numerous pieces of ceramics included in many different museum collections. This jug can be found in the fabulous ceramics collection at the V&A.

IMG_0173

This mug, with similar form, decoration, and its original handle intact, shows what the handle on my mug looked like before it snapped off.

Prussia-mug

Photo courtesy of Stockspring Antiques

King George VI & Queen Elizabeth loving cup, c.1937

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

This colorful porcelain loving cup was made by the Paragon China Company in Stoke-on-Trent, England, in 1937 to commemorate the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. The figural lion handles and pastel colors give it a distinctive Art Deco look. At first glance the cup appears to be in tip-top condition, but upon closer inspection you can see all is not perfect for the royal couple. I imagine that after a robust toasting to the King and Queen, the loving cup clanked against a large stoneware tankard and broke in half. Surprisingly, it was not glued back together but brought to a china repairer who applied metal staples to make it whole again. With the invention of new types of glues and cements, developed for use during World War II, civilians were doing their own repairs at home, so by the mid-20th century, traditional staple repairs were becoming obsolete.

It seems that the china repairer or the owner of the cup couldn’t leave well enough alone and tried to mask the repair by painting over the staples. They did a decent job, however, matching the colors of the mug as they painstakingly matched each brushstroke of the pattern beneath.

The broken cup has been restored…long live the King! Long live the Queen! Long live the Art of Inventive Repair!

IMG_7864 - Version 2

IMG_7865

IMG_7866

IMG_7869

IMG_7872

IMG_7868

IMG_7870

IMG_7867

IMG_7871

IMG_7874

Nelson commemorative jug, c.1805

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

This colorful “Dutch” shape jug with transfer decoration and overglaze washes was made in Staffordshire, England to commemorate Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, who died in battle at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. After he was killed by a French sniper, Nelson’s body was preserved in brandy while being transported by ship back to England for burial. Nelson become one of Britain’s greatest war heroes and is memorialized by many London monuments, including Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square.

In 1797 during the unsuccessful Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Nelson tragically lost an arm. The ship’s surgeon, James Farquhar, wrote in his journal: “Compound fracture of the right arm by a musket ball passing thro a little above the elbow; an artery divided; the arm was immediately amputated.” Legend has it that within 30 minutes of treatment, Nelson was back in battle commanding his troops.

It seems this jug, too, has been to battle, as sometime in the mid-1800s it’s original handle snapped off and was replaced by a metal one. The itinerant tinsmith did a fine job fashioning a simple yet sturdy loop handle with thumb rest and small flourish at the bottom, which might have been his signature embellishment. It’s a shame that Lord Nelson couldn’t find a replacement for his own missing arm, as seen by the empty draped sleeve in his famous portrait by Lemuel Francis Abbott.

497px-HoratioNelson1

IMG_7817 - Version 2

IMG_7819

IMG_7825

IMG_7823

IMG_7824

IMG_7821

IMG_7827

IMG_7828

IMG_7829

This jug, also commemorating the death of Admiral Nelson and with similar form, shows what the handle on my jug might have looked like before it was wounded in battle.

nelson jug

Photo courtesy of Toovey’s

“John Bull” Staffordshire jug, c.1812

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

A rare soft paste pottery jug with transfer decoration and overglaze polychrome washes featuring a Napoleonic  political cartoon. Made in Staffordshire, England and marked “T. Harley – Lane End”.

Thomas Harley (1778-1832) produced earthenware jugs and other wares in his Lane End (now Longton) studio from 1805-1812. In 1814 he was involved in a meeting which called for the abolition of the slave trade.

Jug measures 7-1/2″ high and is featured in AN ILLUSTRATED ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BRITISH POTTERY AND PORCELAIN by Geoffrey A. Godden, Bonanza Books Inc., N.Y., 1966.

A now rusted metal handle with thumb rest, made by a metalsmith over 100 years ago, replaces the original damaged ceramic handle.

This rare example with intact handle shows what my jug looked like before a clumsy person dropped it.

 

Photo courtesy of Commemorative Ceramics