Posts Tagged ‘German’

Meissen teapot, c.1770

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

This hard paste porcelain teapot was made at the Meissen factory in Germany during the Marconi Period (1763 – 1774). It measures 4.5 inches high and 8 inches from handle to spout. It is decorated in polychrome overglaze enamels with a flower motif on both sides of the pot and on top of the lid. A cobalt mark of crossed swords and a dot can be found on the underside. The noticeable surface wear suggests that it was well loved and heavily used over the past 250 years.

You can guess that this teapot found its way into my collection due to its nicely done silver replacement spout. Repairs such as this were commonly done on spouts, as they were prone to chipping. This teapot was owned by a former French teacher at my high school who lives in Brussels and has been an early supporter of this blog. Merci beaucoup, Marienne!

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This teapot with similar form and decoration still as its original spout intact.

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Photo courtesy of LiveAuctioneers

Bisque doll with wooden legs, c.1890

Sunday, March 6th, 2016

This small doll made of tinted bisque (unglazed porcelain) was made in Germany in the late 1800s and measures 5 inches long. It was owned by my cousin-in-law Carol, who got it from her mother, a doll collector with an impressive collection. Carol believes that her mother made the hand crocheted outfit and that her great-grandfather made wood replacement legs after the original ones shattered.

Not surprisingly, there seems to be a large number of broken vintage toys with inventive repairs out there. China and bisque were the predominant materials used for making children’s tea sets, dolls, and other fragile toys, so naturally they would end up chipped, cracked and broken.

I think Carol’s great-grandfather did a fine job whittling and painting this sturdy pair of wood legs to replace the broken originals.

This is what the original bisque legs on Carol’s doll might have looked like before Geppetto whittled a new pair.

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Photo courtesy of Ruby Lane

Small Meissen teapot, c.1750

Saturday, October 24th, 2015

This small porcelain teapot for one was made in Germany at the esteemed Meissen factory in the mid 1700s. It stands 3.75 inches high and 5.5 inches from handle to spout and is nicely painted with colorful floral sprays on both sides. The underside reveals the classic blue crossed swords mark.

It’s impossible to tell when the original lid went missing but later in life an ornate brass lid was placed atop of the lidless pot and a marriage was made. Although this lid looks nothing like the porcelain original which might have had a molded flower as a knob, it fits quite well and certainly does the trick.

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This teapot of similar form and decoration shows what the original lid on my teapot might have looked like.

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Photo courtesy of eBay

Bohemian milch glass mug, c.1750

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

This 18th century Milch Glass mug with hand painted polychrome hunting scene of a stage pursued by a dog was made in central Europe in the 18th century and measures 6-1/4″  high.

After this mug was dropped, breaking into two pieces, it was most likely taken to an itinerant china mender who repaired it using 16 metal staples of various sizes. It is more common to find ceramics repaired with staples or rivets, but skilled repairers drilled through glass as well.

“Bohemia was also renowned for ‘milch glass’ or milk glass, and tumblers, mugs, bottles and such things made of it were decorated with Watteau scenes and floral designs. The technique is often good, but the shapes are generally clumsy and the decoration insipid.” From The Glass Collector: A Guide to Old English Glass by MacIver Perciva, 1919.

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Here’s another example of Milch Glass with similar form and decoration.

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Photo courtesy of Andrew Dando

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Wishing you all the best during the holiday season and for a healthy and Happy New Year!

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German Annaberg jug, c.1680

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

This early black-brown salt glazed stoneware pewter-mounted Birnkrug “pear jug” was made in Annaberg, Germany in the second half of the 17th century. It has incised scaled body decoration of stylized relief palmettes and leaf ornamentation divided by applied molded borders, the front with a figure of Jesus. It is embellished in polychrome enamels and gilding, which have remained surprisingly vibrant after over 330 years. The hinged pewter lid is connected to a ball thumb piece and inset with what appears to be a coin with a crucifixion scene.

As rare as this 10″  high jug is, it is even more special to me by possessing a pewter replacement handle, added by an 18th century tinker, most likely in Germany, after the original handle broke off. The delicate handle, with an intricate stippled wave design and border, is supported by a mounted pewter base ring and lid collar. I first saw this pricy jug at an antiques shop over one year ago and passed on it. But I recently stopped by the shop again and was delighted to find that no one else had snatched it up. After a brief bargaining session with the friendly dealer, I was finally was able to purchase this gem and add it to my collection.

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This jug of similar form and decoration still has its original handle.

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Photo courtesy of Bonhams

Miniature cranberry glass punch cup, c.1890

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

This diminutive hand-blown ribbed cranberry glass punch cup has an applied clear glass handle and polished bottom. I purchased it about a year ago from a dealer in the UK who thought it was made in Bohemia around the turn of the 19th century. Standing just a mere 1-1/2″ tall, it is one of the smallest examples in my collection. It would have been a part of a larger set, including a punch bowl, ladle and up to 12 matching cups. After this cup broke, a tinker very carefully bore eight minute holes through the sides of the glass, using a drill bit covered in diamond dust, and attached four 1/4″ long metal staples. These are some of the smallest staples I have ever seen. It must have taken nimble hands and years of experience to repair this tiny gem.

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This elaborate cranberry glass punch set with gilt decoration, made by Moser, would originally have had a dozen matching cups and an undertray.

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Photo courtesy of Live Auctioneers

German Maskau jug, c.1740

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

This rustic brown stoneware jug with ovoid body was made in the Muskau region of Germany in the mid 1700s. It is decorated with incised stylized foliate against a crosshatched ground above vertical fluting and black glaze highlights. Remains of the original stoneware handle can be seen beneath the metal replacement. It is attached at the top to the remains of the pewter lid hinge and at the bottom using a horizontal metal band, blending in nicely and appearing to be a part of the original design. An additional horizontal band around the neck helps to stabilize the multiple cracks beneath. The original pewter mounted lid went missing long ago, which is not uncommon for a much-used flagon of this age. It measures nearly 9-1/2″ high.

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This fine example has its original handle intact and shows what mine would have looked like before it broke and was brought to the local tinker for repair.

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Photo courtesy of Martyn Edgell

Pierrette clothespin doll, c.1920

Saturday, May 4th, 2013

This unmarked porcelain novelty was most likely produced in Germany around 1920 and measures 5-3/4″ long. Also known as half dolls, they were typically attached to tops of pincushions, boxes and small clothes brushes and displayed on vanity and dresser tops. This one graduated from half doll to full doll, with the aid of a wooden clothespin attached at the waist. I imagine that after the piece broke, a handy dad whittled the lower extremities to form makeshift prosthetic legs. In an attempt to create a respectable outfit for this coquettish lass, the clothespin legs were covered in now faded pink cloth tape, the duct tape of its day. Wouldn’t it be great if this immobile doll ended up in a doll house, filled with inventively repaired miniature furnishings and inhabitants, including a make-do Pierrot?

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This lovely lady sits atop a powder box and still has her original porcelain legs.

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Photo courtesy of LiveJournal

Eva Zeisel majolica teapot, c.1929

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

This boldly painted, hard to find teapot was designed by no other than Eva Zeisel, who worked for Majolika Fabrik in Schramberg, Germany. She arrived in the small Black Forest town in the fall of 1928 and left nearly two years later in the spring of 1930, creating nearly 200 brightly colored pottery objects of Art Deco inspired design. This lightweight pottery teapot measures 7-1/2″ tall and is 8-3/4″ wide from handle to spout.

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I am not surprised that this fragile teapot did not remain unscathed over the past 84 years, as the low fired clay is susceptible to breakage. A large broken piece at the top of the pot has been reapplied, aided by three large metal staples, each measuring nearly 3/4″ long. To help camouflage this none-too-subtle repair, the staples were overpainted in matching tones, with only traces of color remaining. To add insult to injury, the top  portion of the handle, once broken off, has been riveted back on to the body. Tightly woven rattan envelopes the entire handle and the lower portion of the teapot, although I am not sure if this is was a later addition. Original or not, the basket-like embellishment adds another layer of quirkiness to this most desirable vessel.

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The stamped mark on the bottom reads: Majolika, SMF (contained within a shield), Schramberg Handyemalt, 64.

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Photo courtesy of Kulturprojekte Berlin

These are more examples of majolica designed by Eva Zeisel during her years in Schramberg, Germany

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An early photograph of Eva Zeisel in her studio, c. 1930.

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Photos courtesy of John Foster