Posts Tagged ‘English’

“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

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!

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English diptware jug, c.1800

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

I purchased this 7-3/4″ tall jug from a collector last February and it quickly became one of my favorites. The simple form, hot chocolate colored glaze, and impressive tin handle with strapping make it a visual delight. When I brought this jug to one of Don Carpentier’s workshops at Eastfield Village this summer, he marveled at it and said it was something special. So rather than try to describe it myself, here is what Don had to say:

“It is a baluster form English earthenware jug 1790-1810.  It is technically know as diptware because it was decorated with slip. The design at the rim inslip-inlaid checkered rouletting.  Made by impressing the design in the leather hard clay on the lathe with a roulette tool and then flooding the area with dark slip.  When the slip sets up to leather hard it is put back on the lathe and trimmed down flush with the surface of the body and the design is inlaid.”

The tinsmith who crafted the metal replacement handle did a fine job securing it to the jug, by means of straps running diagonally across the ovoid form. He also added a comfortable hand support, thumb rest and small curled flourish at the bottom. Sadly, some of the jug’s best features are covered by the tin handle, such as the intricate leaf terminals and almost half of the checkered rim. But without the added handle, the original owner would not be able to use the jug for its intended purpose and I would have nothing to write about today!

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This jug with similar form and rouletted black slip-filled herringbone mid-band, shows what the original loop handle on my jug may have looked like.

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Photo courtesy of Prices4Antiques

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.

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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.

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Photo courtesy of Toovey’s

Agate surface decorated teapot, c.1785

Saturday, September 7th, 2013

This handsome redware urn-shaped teapot was made in England in the late 18th century and stands 4-1/2″ tall. Its confetti-like agate surface decoration is inlaid with ochre, orange, brown, olive, blue, and white bits of clay. Encircling the middle is a slip-filled checkered rouletted band of pumpkin and brown. All that remains of the original handle, which must have broken off sometime in the 19th century, is a molded bearded mask terminal, set ominously askew. Growing out of its forehead is the lower part of a pewter handle, fashioned by a tinker to replace the broken original. This replacement follows the form of the simple loop-shaped original.

I found this piece in Maine a few years ago and was reminded of it during a recent trip to the Shelburne Museum in Vermont, where I spotted a teapot on display with similar agate surface decoration, shown in the last image below.

This teapot is another example of agate surface decoration, and although it differs in form and coloring, the checkerboard band decoration is similar to my collaborative whiteboard template.

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Photo taken at the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, VT.

Glass jug with metal handle, c.1800

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

I had never seen an early metal replacement handle found on a piece of glassware, until now. This blown glass baluster form jug with cut decoration stands 5-3/4″ tall and was made in England in the late 18th to early 19th century. Etched on the underside is a cursive signature, Neale & Co. WH, above an unpolished pontil scar. James Neale, a London merchant who opened the Church Works in North Staffordshire in the second half of the 18th century, was famous for producing earthenware in the style of neighbor Josiah Wedgwood’s ubiquitous pottery. Neale’s wares were of the same fine quality and though rivals, he helped Wedgwood, when in a pinch, with large orders that needed to be filled. Though known mostly for producing ceramic tableware and figures, Neale & Co. also housed glassware merchants at the Church Works, which explains why this unusual mark is found on my glass jug.

As I usually come across either handles still covered in rattan or exposed bare metal handles with all covering long gone, I was pleased to find this hybrid. It reveals a half-round crimped support strip of rattan along the interior of the handle, and also shows the remains of a decoratively woven outer cover. Pieces such as this seemingly inconsequential imperfect repair help collectors and scholars discover the early methods of repair and insulation. So thanks to those who owned this wonderful jug before me, keeping the remains of this most inventive repair intact!

This crystal jug shows what the original applied handle might have looked like on my jug.

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Photo courtesy of Replacements

Leeds creamware teapot, c.1770

Saturday, August 10th, 2013

I had been looking for an 18th century creamware teapot for many years so I was excited to have recently come across this appealing example with a most unusual, if not unique, repair.

This globular teapot, which measures 5-3/8″ high and 8″ wide, has an entwined strap handle with floral and leaf terminals and a cover with a pierced ball finial. The hand painted floral polychrome decoration is in tones of purple, green and persimmon. It was made in England during the last quarter of the 18th century at Leeds, a factory famous for developing creamware, a new type of earthenware using white Cornish clay and a translucent glaze.

Sadly for the owner, the original spout succumbed after an unfortunate accident (luckily, no charges were brought up and no bail bonds company existed back in the day if there were), while remarkably the more delicate handle remained intact. Happily for me, though, sometime in the early 1800s, the teapot was brought to an expert metalsmith who fashioned a unique replacement spout in what appears to be Britannia metal, a pewter-type alloy composed of tin, antimony and copper. The metal spout, expertly executed with precision and artistry, appears have a  modern steampunk attitude. To me it looks like a crooked finger urging “come here!”

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The underside reveals an early gummed paper label marked “Leeds” and a price of £4, which I would happily have paid. Of course it cost me a bit more, but I have no regrets.

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This example, with similar form and decoration, shows what my teapot’s spout would have looked like had it not broken off. But I much prefer my unique example with the juxtaposed metal spout.

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Photo courtesy of eBay