Posts Tagged ‘English’

Bowie knife with wood handle, c.1890

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

Hunting knife with a “Bowie” blade, named after Colonial James “Jim” Bowie in the early 1800’s. Measures 11-1/4″ long from end of handle to the tip of the blade.

Marked “ALFRED WILLIAMS, SHEFFIELD ENGLAND” on the middle of the steel blade.

Both the iron guard and turned oak wood handle are replacements and are held together with the aid of a nut and bolt.

The original handle would have been made of bone, as seen on this Bowie knife made by Alfred Williams.

Photo courtesy of Northwest Pony Express

“Wounded survivor” teapot, c.1810

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

What do you do when a staunch survivor of over 200 years and with multiple battle scars exposing its difficult life appears with a fresh wound? This teapot arrived from overseas with a shattered handle, much to my dismay. I have often said that there is nothing as redundant as a “broken” make-do so I plan on repairing the handle with an inventive repair of my own. Stay tuned.

Lushly decorated porcelain teapot with bun feet and matching stand, made in Derby, England around 1810. Teapot measures 6″ tall and 11″ wide from the tip of the spout to the end of the broken handle.

Hand painted polychrome decoration features a stylized gilt cachepot surrounded by elaborate scrollwork, floral flourishes, bunches of grapes and a Greek key border.

Well over 100 years ago, the tip of the damaged spout was fitted with a gilt-finish metal replacement and the neck was repaired with 5 metal staples, overpainted in white enamel to blend in.

The matching oval tray measures 6-1/2″ x 8″…

with a symmetrical break…

held back in place with the aid of 6 metal staples.

Marked on the underside with a red crown Derby mark and pattern number “770”.

Classical jasperware teapot, c.1840

Friday, March 25th, 2011

The body of this small unglazed stoneware teapot is made of pale blue jasper (comprised of 59% barium sulphate, 29% clay, 10% flint, 2% barium carbonate) and is decorated with an applied white relief jasper classical scene decoration. It was made in Staffordshire, England around 1830-1850.

Teapot stands 4″ tall. The lid has a skep shaped knob.

The replaced metal handle is fastened to the body using metal bands that wrap around the top collar and bottom of the teapot. Although this method of repair is more unsightly than two small bolts holding a new handle to the body, it is less likely to leak.

Bottom is marked only with the number “43” incised in an applied relief seal. The remains of an earlier putty repair are also evident.

King Charles spaniel Jug, c.1865

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Whimsical “begging” King Charles spaniel with tricorn hat pottery jug, made in Staffordshire, England, in the mid-1800’s. Painted in iron red overglazed decoration with a fruiting vine molded rim and a gold collar.

Much of the original painted decoration has worn off of Fido’s face…

…leaving this poor pooch looking a bit sad.

Jug stands 10-3/4″ high.

The previous owner of this jug purchased it in Zaire in the early 1980’s, where its missing handle was repaired with a crudely made clay replacement. I have seen many extraordinary indigenous repairs on African masks, bowls, baskets and even tiny beads.

This happy pup stands tall with paint intact and its original pottery handle.

Photo courtesy of Antique Pooch

Canary yellow mug with 46 staple repairs, c.1820

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

This canary yellow pottery mug with silver lustre bands and decoration was made in England in the early 19th century. I recently purchased it from a dealer in the UK who used the “tankard” as his pencil cup. He wrote me “(It) sits on my desk. Only dealers appreciate it! My customers think I am crazy”. I, of course, do not think he’s crazy and it’s too bad his customers did not appreciate it, nor see the beauty in the patterns made by the multiple repairs. It did take a little bit of convincing for the dealer to agree to sell it to me and after I told him “please consider how happy the mug will be living in America with other wounded survivors!”, we agreed on a fair price. I sent payment, the mug arrived 2 weeks later and it has become my new favorite piece!

Measures 3-1/2″ tall, 3-5/8″ diameter.

Every angle reveals more and more staples…

Comical poem printed on the front reads:

“The maltster doth crave

His money to have,

The distiller says have it he must;

By this you may see,

How the case stands with me;

So I pray don’t ask me to trust”

After this mug was smashed, the body was held together with the aid of 40 metal staples of varying size and the handle was repaired with 6 metal bands. It must have been truly cherished by whoever had it repaired.

I love the stylized sunbursts, enhanced by the addition of metal staples, on both sides of the mug.

Herculaneum coffee can, c.1815

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Herculaneum pottery coffee can, made in Liverpool, England in the early 1800s. Herculaneum Pottery was based in Toxteth, and produced creamware and pearlware pottery, as well as bone china porcelain, between 1793 and 1841. This superbly decorated example has delicately hand painted flowers, birds and butterflies with gilt detailing. Although unmarked, the original pattern number is believed to be 905. Coffee can measures just over 2-1/2″ high and has a diameter of 2-3/4″. The sturdy replacement handle, made of bronze and covered in tightly wrapped rattan painted with red detailing, is held in place with the aid of two wires which pass through the body of the mug. It was most likely made by an English china mender in the mid-1800s.


Copeland teapot with staple repair, c.1874

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

This lovely teapot, made in England during the Aesthetic Movement, has a Parian finish and was made by Copeland in 1874. The original pewter lid, which looks like a replacement, is actually original to the piece. I feel that the staple repairs on this teapot enhance the design, as they follow the same graceful line of the raised bent bamboo decoration and the staples mimic the horizontal nodes along the vertical cracks.

The Copeland firm, operated by William Taylor Copeland in Staffordshire, called the parian finish “statuary porcelain” because of its resemblance to the fine white marble of neoclassical sculpture.

There are four staple repairs on each side of the teapot.

The underside of the teapot reveals an incised COPELAND mark and British registry mark in relief, dating this piece to 1874.

This “perfect” teapot is without staple repairs and has an ornate pewter lid. I still prefer my “imperfect” example with visible battle scars proudly displayed.

Photo courtesy of Teapots Teapots Teapots

Child’s transferware cream jug, c.1840

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

This diminutive cream colored pearlware pottery cream jug was part of a larger child’s tea set and was made in England in the first part of the nineteenth century.

It is decorated with a black transfer pastoral scene, which may have been inspired by an engraving from the same period.

Cream jug measures 2-3/4″ high.

The other side is decorated with a church scene with what appears to be fallen tombstones.

The crudely made metal replacement handle has crimped edges and a flat strap at the top, with a wrapped wire band at the base.

Another early child’s creamer from the early 1800’s is shown with its handle intact.

Photo courtesy of WorthPoint

“The China-Mender” by Thomas Hood, c.1832

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

This amusing poem, written by British poet and humorist Thomas Hood, Esq. (1799-1845), first appeared in The Royal Lady’s Magazine (their motto: “Our ambition is to raise the female mind of England to its true level”) London, January 1832.

Photo courtesy of The National Portrait Gallery, London

THE CHINA-MENDER

Good-Morning, Mr. What-d’ye-call! Well! here’s another pretty job!

Lord help my Lady!—what a smash!—if you had only heard her sob!

It was all through Mr. Lambert: but for certain he was winey,

To think for to go to sit down on a table full of Chiney.

“Deuce take your stupid head!” says my Lady to his very face;

But politeness, you know, is nothing when there’s Chiney in the case;

And if ever a woman was fond of Chiney to a passion,

It’s my mistress, and all sorts of it, whether new or old fashion.

Her brother’s a sea-captain, and brings her home shiploads—

Such bronzes, and such dragons, and nasty squatting things like toads;

And great nidnoddin’ mandarins, with palsies in the head:

I declare I’ve often dreamt of them, and had nightmares in my bed.

But the frightfuller they are—lawk! she loves them all the better,

She’d have Old Nick himself made of Chiney if they’d let her.

Lawk-a-mercy! break her Chiney, and it’s breaking her very heart;

If I touched it, she would very soon say, “Mary, we must part.”

To be sure she is unlucky: only Friday comes Master Randall,

And breaks a broken spout, and fresh chips a tea-cup handle:

He’s a dear, sweet little child, but he will so finger and touch,

And that’s why my Lady doesn’t take to children much.

Well, there’s stupid Mr. Lambert, with his two greatcoat flaps.

Must go and sit down on the Dresd’n shepherdesses’ laps,

As if there was no such things as rosewood chairs in the room!

I couldn’t have made a greater sweep with the handle of the broom.

Mercy on us! how my mistress began to rave and tear!

Well, after all, there’s nothing like good ironstone ware for wear.

If ever I marry, that’s flat, I’m sure it won’t be John Dockery—

I should be a wretched woman in a shop full of crockery.

I should never like to wipe it, though I love to be neat and tidy,

And afraid of meat on market-days every Monday and Friday

I’m very much mistook if Mr. Lambert’s will be a catch;

The breaking the Chiney will be the breaking-off of his own match.

Missis wouldn’t have an angel, if he was careless about Chiney;

She never forgives a chip, if it’s ever so small and tiny.

Lawk! I never saw a man in all my life in such a taking;

I could find it in my heart to pity him for all his mischief-making.

To see him stand a-hammering and stammering like a zany;

But what signifies apologies, if they won’t mend old Chaney!

If he sent her up whole crates full, from Wedgwood’s and Mr. Spode’s,

He couldn’t make amends for the crack’d mandarins and smash’d toads.

Well! every one has their tastes, but, for my part, my own self,

I’d rather have the figures on my poor dear grandmother’s old shelf

A nice pea-green poll-parrot, and two reapers with brown ears of corns,

And a shepherd with a crook after a lamb with two gilt horns,

And such a Jemmy Jessamy in top-boots and sky-blue vest,

And a frill and flower’d waistcoat, with a fine bow-pot at the breast.

God help her, poor old soul! I shall come into ‘em at her death;

Though she’s a hearty woman for her years, except her shortness of breath.

Well! you may think the things will mend—if they won’t, Lord mend us all!

My lady will go in fits, and Mr. Lambert won’t need to call;

I’ll be bound in any money, if I had a guinea to give,

He won’t sit down again on Chiney the longest day he has to live.

Poor soul! I only hope it won’t forbid his banns of marriage;

Or he’d better have sat behind on the spikes of my Lady’s carriage.

But you’ll join ‘em all of course, and stand poor Mr. Lambert’s friend,

I’ll look in twice a day, just to see, like, how they mend.

To be sure it is a sight that might draw tears from dogs and cats,

Here’s this pretty little pagoda, now, has lost four of its cocked hats.

Be particular with the pagoda: and then here’s this pretty bowl—

The Chinese Prince is making love to nothing because of this hole;

And here’s another Chinese man, with a face just like a doll,

Do stick his pigtail on again, and just mend his parasol.

But I needn’t tell you what to do, only do it out of hand,

And charge whatever you like to charge—my Lady won’t make a stand.

Well! good-morning, Mr. What-d’ye-call, for it’s time our gossip ended:

And you know the proverb, the less as is said, the sooner the Chiney’s mended.

Emergency Handle for Domestic Receptacles, c.1922

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

I purchased this innocuous cup with “Pekin” transfer decoration in April 2008 and was intrigued by the removable metal handle, an apparent “do it yourself” replacement. Unlike most examples found in my collection, this was obviously not a handmade repair.

Due to heavy rust, the handle appeared to be unmarked and I was unable to proceed with executing any further research.

When I originally added the cup entry to this site in March 2010, I surmised that the handle “looks like something found at a local hardware store”.

Then in April of this year, two years after the discovery of the mysterious replacement handle, I purchased a copper lustre child’s mug with an identical metal handle, which I posted on July 6, 2010.

Luckily this handle was in excellent condition and clearly boasted a patent number.

Reino Liefkes, Senior Curator of the Ceramics & Glass Collection at the V&A Museum in London, recently discovered my blog and sent me the original patent specification and drawing for the “Emergency Handle For Domestic Receptacles”, patented in 1922 by inventor Frederick Warren Wilkes of Birmingham, UK. Upon further research, I found the American patent specification and drawing from 1923, pictured here.

Originally, a tiny rubber band was attached to the lower end of the handle to help cushion it against the delicate ceramic surface

Many thanks to Reino Liefkes for his most appreciated sleuthing!