Posts Tagged ‘metal handle’

Chinese mug with large replacement handle, c.1770

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

This cylindrical form porcelain mug was made in China during the third quarter of the eighteenth century. It is decorated in the Nanking pattern with trees, birds, pagodas and boats, using cobalt blue underglaze enamel. It measures 4.75 inches high with a 3.5 inch opening.

It appears that this mug has a story to tell, as its original strap handle has gone astray and is now fitted with a rusty iron replacement. Perhaps a bar room brawl resulted in the loss, or someone dropped the mug while clearing the table, or during a wash-up. We may never know for sure how the deed was done but I am thankful the owner had the good sense to have a tinker replace the handle, rather than throw out the broken mug. Isn’t it remarkable that this chipped survivor from 250 years ago is still able to engaging us and stir our imaginations?

This mug with similar form and decoration shows what the original strap handle might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of eBay

Medium Sunderland jug “Great Australia”, c.1865

Sunday, February 11th, 2018

This Dutch shape pearlware pottery jug was made in Sunderland, England, c.1860-1870. It has dark red transfer decoration of the sailing ship “Great Australia” on one side and verses on the other side and front, accented with washes of pink lustre, yellow, green, and blue. “Great Australia” was built for Messrs Baines & Co. in Liverpool and launched in Decemeber 1860. Jug measures 8 inches high and 9.5 inches from handle to spout.

The large metal replacement handle with finger grip, thumb support, and a wide horizontal band were done by a tinker in the 19th century. As these jugs were prone to constant wear and tear, it was not uncommon for handles to break off and be replaced. Larger towns and cities had local tinkers but if you lived in a smaller town or village, you would bring your broken household items to itinerant tinkers, who would travel from town to town and set up on the side of the road or in the town square.

I love finding make-do’s in multiples and was thrilled to find this jug, which is one of a pair. Even better, they match a large jug I purchased many years ago with a similar metal replacement handle, making the set, graduating in size, a trio. Take a look at Large Sunderland jug, c.1855 the largest jug I previously posted.

This jug of similar form and decoration shows what the original handle on mine would have looked like.

Photo courtesy of Metropolitan Museum of Art

Chinese porcelain milk jug, c.1765

Sunday, January 28th, 2018

This baluster shaped milk jug with a molded spout was made in the style of European silver and decorated in the Famille Rose palette, using cobalt blue, green, puce, and iron-red enamels. It was made in China during the Qianlong period (1736-95) and measures 7 inches high.

Sometime in the late 1700s to middle 1800s, a metal handle wrapped in rattan was added, replacing the original broken one. To add insult to injury, the lid went missing at one point over the past 250+ years.  It’s too bad a replacement lid wasn’t made at the time the original one was lost. I may attempt to make a new one, that is if my tin making skills improve.

This milk jug with similar form shows what the original handle on mine might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of ShangriLa

Japanese Imari mystery vessel, c.1800

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

This unusual Japanese porcelain vessel has been a mystery to me ever since I purchased it in London in 2014. The dealer I bought it from knew little about it, so I have been researching it for the past few years. It stands 8.75 inches high and is decorated in the Imari style and color palette, including cobalt blue, iron red, green, and gilt accents. I asked some experts to weigh in on its function and age and their responses range from it being a shaving mug, an incense burner, to a tumba for drinking fermented millet. Most agree it was made during the Edo period (1603–1867).

The original lid and handle broke over 125 years ago and were replaced in Tibet (others suggest Turkey and Persia) with an ornate replacement adorned with turquoise, coral and blue glass beads. If anyone can shed more light on this mystery vessel, especially when it was made and its original use, I would greatly appreciate it.

Chinese Imari tea cup, c.1750

Sunday, August 27th, 2017

This petite porcelain tea cup has floral decoration in the Imari palette, including cobalt blue, red, and gold. It was made in China during the Qianlong period (1736-95) and most likely would have been a part of a larger dinner service. It measures 2.5 inches high.

Well over 100 years ago, its original loop handle snapped off and was fitted with a nicely done, well proportioned metal replacement. I especially like the two-tone checkerboard pattern of the woven rattan, which might have been the calling card of the repairer. I have dozens of examples of wrapped metal handles and I like comparing the various styles and patterns of the rattan.

This cup with similar form and decoration suggests what the original handle on my cup would have looked like.

Photo courtesy of Stockspring Antiques

Blue transfer printed pearlware jug, c.1825

Saturday, August 5th, 2017

This Dutch form pottery jug with pearlware glaze and sparrow beak spout was made in England in the first quarter of the 19th century. Standing nearly 4.25 inches high and 5.75 inches from handle to spout, it has blue transfer decoration, combining a pastoral scene with a shepherd, ancient ruins, and a lush border of flowers and fruit along the rim.

Well over 100 years ago, the original loop handle became detached and immediate surgery was needed. Luckily for the jug and its owner, a tinker made a metal replacement handle and bolted it to the jug. To help mask the repair, the new handle was painted blue and white to match the existing decoration. Curiously, a hole on the side was filled with lead, much like a cavity in a tooth. Not the most elegant repair job I have seen but it certainly does the trick.

This jug with similar form and decoration shows what my jug might have looked like before its accident.

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Photo courtesy of eBay

“Love and live Happay” teapot, c.1805

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

I am a big fan of ceramics with bold, graphic decoration, especially ones with text, and this charming example certainly fits the bill. This Prattware pottery teapot, proclaiming “Love and live Happay (sic),” was made in England in the early 1800s. Standing 5.25 inches high and 10 inches wide, it is painted in typical Prattware colors, including green, yellow, blue, and brown.

It appears that long ago, Mr. Butterfingers loved his teapot so much that he tossed it up in the air with glee, but didn’t catch it on its way back down. Sadly, the lid and handle shattered beyond repair, but thankfully a tinsmith was able to craft a nifty metal replacement handle so the teapot was able to be loved again and live happ(a)ily ever after.

This teapot with similar shape and decoration shows what the original handle and lid on mine might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of Agnes Ashe

Ridgway relief molded jug, c.1835

Saturday, June 24th, 2017

This relief molded salt glaze jug from 1835 was made in England by Ridgway. It is decorated with scenes from Robert Burns’ poem, “Tam O’Shanter,” written in 1790. It measures 6.75 inches tall and is incised on the underside: “Published by W. RIDGWAY & CO. MANLEY, October 1, 1835.”

Although this jug maintains its original pewter lid, its overscaled ear-shaped metal handle is a replacement, made by a tinsmith over 150 years ago.

Here’s the same jug with its original handle intact.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Dando

Chinese Imari teapot with double repair, c.1720

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

This bullet-form porcelain teapot has it all: good looks, great form, a winning personality, and two different early inventive repairs. It was made in China for export during the Kangxi period (1662-1722) and is decorated with floral sprays in the Japanese Imari palette with bold colors and strong graphics. It measures 4 inches high and 6.5 inches wide from handle to spout.

At some point in its early life, a spoutless teapot was brought to a repairer who made a simple metal replacement spout. Not long after, it was brought back to be fitted for a wicker covered bronze replacement handle. A friend once showed me a similarly shaped teapot that had met such an end. And by merely sealing up the hole left by the missing spout and grinding down the handle terminals, the original owner lost a teapot but gained a sugar bowl. As much as I marvel at the ingenuity of that transformation, I am glad my broken teapot is still a teapot.

This teapot with similar form and decoration shows what the original handle and spout might have looked like on mine.

Photo courtesy of Alain Truong

Welsh jug with metal handle, c.1850

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

This little pearlware pottery cream jug was made in the unpronounceable village of Ynysmeudwy, Wales during the mid-19th century and was part of a child’s tea set. It is decorated with moulded relief of hunters, dogs, and flowers, with flow blue glaze and copper lustre bands at the rim and base. It stands nearly 3.5 inches high and is marked “35” in copper lustre on the underside.

As is true of the many fragile items for children that I have in my collection, this poor jug must have slipped from the hands of a nervous child, who no doubt was told to handle it with care. Well over 100 years ago, as a result of the mishap, a tinker made a sturdy metal replacement handle. There must have been a lot of pressure placed on small children when they were given delicate playthings like this, and unjustly punished when the inevitable happened. I can just imagine the collective sigh of relief heard worldwide when children were given unbreakable toys made of plastic to toss about as they pleased.

This jug of similar form and decoration suggests what the original handle on mine might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of eBay