Posts Tagged ‘English’

Georgian Castleford teapot, c.1810

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

This handsome Castleford-style teapot with neoclassical design was made in England in the early 1800s. It is made of fine-grained unglazed black basalt stoneware with a hinged lid set in a scalloped rim and fastened with a metal pin. It measures 5-1/2″ tall and 8-3/4″ from handle to spout. Two different classical tableaux in detailed relief are on each paneled side, with acanthus leaves at the top and the bottom.

When this teapot was dropped over 150 years ago, the spout broke in two places and the knob came undone. Typically, fragile lids on teapots with this design snap off so I am surprised that this lid remains intact. A 19th century tinker repaired all of the broken bits by attaching two metal sleeves around the breaks in the spout and riveted on a new metal replacement knob. The metal repairs were originally painted black to blend in with the black basalt color of the pot, but time and age have peeled away the paint, leaving a pleasing patina to the metal. There is a later putty repair to a crack on the underside which is useless now, but I imagine it served its purpose at the time it was applied.

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This example with nearly the same form, shows what the original spout and knob would have looked like on my teapot.

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Photo courtesy of D. G. Barsby Antiques

Flight & Barr dish with 31 brass staples, c.1805

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

This high quality porcelain dish was made in Worcester, England, by manufacturers Flight & Barr. It is decorated with a wide Gothic influenced geometric border in gilt and burnt orange enamel. It measures 11-1/4″ by 7-7/8″ and dates to early 19th century. The underside has a beautifully hand painted mark in puce which reads “Flight & Barr, Worcester, Manufactures to Their Majesties,” as well as a small crown and an incised letter B.

After the dish was dropped and brought to a china mender for restoration, 31 brass staples were attached to make the dish complete and usable once again. The eight holes in-between the six staples at one end indicate that an earlier repair was made to the dish, but apparently they were removed. The second restoration, executed well over 100 years ago, was a success and the sturdy dish was most likely put back in service for use at the dinner table. But I would rather just admire it for the beauty and ingenuity of the repair and display it wrong side up.

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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.

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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.

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

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Photo courtesy of Stockspring Antiques

Miniature Coalport cup & saucer, c.1900

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

This minute bone china porcelain cup & saucer duo, made at the turn of the 20th century at the Coalport factory in Shropshire, England, has some of the smallest metal staple repairs I have ever seen. It has printed Japanese style floral decoration in the Japanese Imari palette, consisting of iron red, cobalt blue and gilt enamels. Both pieces are marked with a green stamp on the underside, dating them to 1890-1920. The saucer measures 3-1/4″ in diameter and the cup stands nearly 1-1/2″  high with an opening of 2″.

After the dainty saucer fell to the floor, breaking into six small fragments, it was brought to a china mender who pieced the puzzle back together. Using 10 custom made metal staples, the smallest being a mere 1/4″ long, the saucer was once again able to function as a support to the tiny cup it carried. Imagine the nimble fingers capable of creating such fine work!

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Doulton Lambeth Galleon jug, c.1900

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

This Teniers shape footed porcelain jug was made in Burslem, Staffordshire, England by Royal Doulton, 1892-1902. The bold transfer decoration in the Galleon pattern is printed in black with hand painted washes of mustard and aqua. This popular nautical scene appears on other forms, including vases and tobacco jars, and is clearly stamped in black on the underside DOULTON, BURSLEM, ENGLAND, GALLEON. Jug measures 7 inches high and 7 inches wide.

After this heavy jug slipped through the hands of an earlier owner, breaking its handle into four pieces, it was taken to a tinker (or china mender) who reattached the sections using five wide metal cuffs. Rather than leave the unfinished metal repairs to detract from the allure of the jug, the bands were painted in enamels to match the color and decoration of the handle. Although the color on the repairs has mellowed with age, the result still holds up and continues to be effective.

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The Dalton Lambeth Galleon jug shown here has a different coloration and a perfect handle.

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Photo courtesy of eBay

Creamware Masonic jug, c.1800

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

This wonderfully graphic black transfer printed creamware jug, of ovoid form with loop handle, was most likely made in Liverpool, England, at the turn of the nineteenth century. It stands 7-3/4″ tall and is 8-1/4″ wide from handle to spout. Large jugs such as this were commonly found in fraternal lodges and used for dispensing alcohol after the main order of business was performed. One side is decorated with Masonic imagery and the verso is decorated with emblems and a verse from The Entered Apprentice’s Song. One night, over 100 years ago, a candidate was hoodwinked* during an especially tense initiation ritual and this jug must have fallen to the ground. Unable to repair the broken shards, a Mason brought it to a metalsmith, who fashioned a beautifully proportioned replacement spout, as well as a reinforcement rim and base. This is the first time I have come across a repair done in this fashion and I am impressed with the delicate craftsmanship. I also like how the color of the metal, which appears to contain some pewter, matches the color of the faded transfer print. *Hoodwink, which today means “to trick” or “to deceive,” was originally used in the Masonic Lodge to describe a blindfold. Hood means “cover” and wink means “closed eye.” A candidate was hoodwinked during an initiation ceremony as he was led through a room, unable to see, in order to focus on the words he was hearing. I bet many a make-do were born during such hypnotic rituals!

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This jug with similar form and decorations shows what my jug would have looked like before it was repaired.

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Photo courtesy of Skinner

“Sailor’s Farewell” Sunderland jug, c.1830

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

This small pottery “Dutch” shape jug, decorated with black transfer prints and verses of the popular Sailors Farewell, was made in Sunderland, England, in the early to middle 1800s. Standing 6″ tall, it is embellished with polychrome overglaze washes and pink lustre accents. The front and rim have floral prints and the reverse side is decorated with a black transfer print of the poem A Birth-Day Thought, written in 1809 by Charles Lamb (1775-1834):

I envy no one’s birth or fame,
Their titles, train, or dress;
Nor has my pride e’er stretched its aim
Beyond what I possess.

I ask and wish not to appear
More beauteous, rich, or gay:
Lord, make me wiser every year,
And better every day.

Over one hundred years ago when the jug was dropped, resulting in the loss of the original loop handle, it was taken to a tinker who made a metal replacement. The owner must not have liked the incongruity of the raw metal handle strapped to the delicate ceramic jug, so the handle was painted in copper tones, to help ease the offensive blight.

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

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Photo courtesy of Carter’s

Cauldon porcelain tyg, c.1910

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

This beautifully painted three-handled porcelain tyg was made in Staffordshire, England by Cauldon, c.1905-20. It is hand painted in polychrome enamels with gilt detailing in the Highland Cattle pattern, signed D Birbeck. It is marked in green on the underside CAULDON LTD England and measures 7″ high, with an opening diameter of 5-1/4″.

Tygs are muli-handled drinking cups designed to be passed around and shared by many drinkers. The space on the rim between the handles delineates a surface for each drinker, a more sanitary solution to a single handled mug. Tygs date to the 15th century and were popular into the 17th century, but today they are used for decoration and the nasty old habit of sharing a beer in a traditional mug lives on.

We will never know if this fine tyg suffered its many breaks as a result of being thrown across the room during a bar brawl or if it merely slipped from grandma’s hands as she was dusting it. But thankfully it was brought to the attention of a china mender, who pieced the puzzle back together using 17 metal staples.

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Chrysanthemum Factory jug, c.1815

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

This large cream colored milk jug with sprigged decoration of hunters, horses and hounds was made in England in 1815 and bears the mark of the Chrysanthemum Factory, so-called because of the design of the pad mark on the underside. It was made by Charles Bourne and Chetham & Robinson and proved to be a popular design, as it was manufactured in many different forms, sizes and colors.

The striking dolphin shaped spout is minus its original lower half, replaced with a silver one by a tinker or jeweler long ago. It was expertly made as a cuff, snugly attached to the broken remains encased within. The ill-fitted lid, which came with the jug, seems to have been added at a later date by a previous owner. The jug stands 7-1/4″ tall without the lid.

Thanks to Benjamin Allen, whose Facebook group Sprigged & Relief Moulded Jugs helped to identify this piece.

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This small cream jug gives you an idea of what the original spout on my larger jug looked like before it was brought to the tinker for repair.

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Gaudy Welsh lustre jug, c.1840

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

This type of pearlware pottery “Dutch” shape jug, decorated in the Oyster pattern, was manufactured in England and Wales between 1820 and 1860, although about 80% of the production of this popular form and pattern was done in Staffordshire, England. Standing nearly 5″ tall, it is hand decorated with cobalt blue underglaze and pink lustre, green, and burnt orange overglaze enamels. Although this is not a hard to find jug, I have yet to see one with this type of seemingly simple, yet elaborate inventive repair.

Sometime in the 19th century after the jug was dropped, causing its handle to break into four pieces, a repairer decided to reinforce the broken pieces, rather than create a new metal replacement. The simple loop handle now contains three metal rivets attached through holes drilled at each broken joint, an iron cuff at the bottom, a ring at the top attached to a rivet drilled through to the inside rim, and a splint made from two thin copper wires soldered to the ends and riveted along each joint. I applaud the anonymous repairer who took a different approach with this type of unusual repair and am glad to have the outcome of his creativity in my collection.

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This jug with the same form and decoration has its handle intact.

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Photo courtesy of Ruby Lane