Posts Tagged ‘pottery’

Toby figural pepper pot, c.1870

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

This 5 inch tall figural pepper pot (also known as a caster or muffineer) in the form of Sir Toby Philpott, wears a tricorn hat and grasps a tankard of ale in one hand and a tobacco pipe in the other. It was made in Staffordshire, England, in the late 1800s, of polychrome glazed pottery and is part of a four-piece caster (also known as a cruet or condiment) set, which includes a mustard, salt, and vinegar.

This Toby originally stood on a round plinth base, which he jumped off of (or fell, or was pushed) at least 100 years ago. In its place is a nicely crafted silver replacement base, lending an air of elegance to this robust fellow.

This chap stands on his original base, although the crack at the bottom leads me to believe that he might be heading to the silversmith soon to be fitted for his own silver replacement base.

Photo courtesy of The Antique Shop

French faience patriotique plate, c.1790

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

To commemorate the end of the French Revolution, post-revolutionaries planted trees to celebrate their freedom. This well-used earthenware faience patriotique plate with tin glaze was made in Nevers, France, in the late 1700s. It is made of red clay and decorated with polychrome enamels to emulate Chinese porcelain.  The Liberty Tree depicted here reflects the patriotism of the French.

The underside of this plate reveals even more history, as over a dozen rusted iron staples still hold the damaged plate together after it was shattered more than 200 years ago. Plaster was used to fill the gaps that were left surrounding the tiny holes. To me, the unintentional overall pattern made by the staples on the underside are just as interesting as the design made by the artist on the front of the plate.

 

Canary yellow jug, c.1825

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

This one’s a mystery. A few years back, I purchased this small, canary yellow, footed pottery jug with brown floral decoration from a dealer in the UK. I was thrilled to add it to my collection, as I had not seen another piece quite like it. But therein lies the conundrum. It’s such an unusual piece that I can’t find any information about it. After showing it to a few experts in the field, it has been determined that it was most likely made in North East England around 1820 to 1830.

The jug stands 4.75 inches high and has a sturdy metal tinker’s replacement handle added in the 19th century. If anyone has further information about this jug or has seen other examples with similar decoration, please let me know. I am eager to mark this investigation “case closed!”

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Large jug with woven handle, c.1820

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

Early in my collecting days I purchased a small pottery cream jug with blue & white transfer decoration and a wonderful wicker replacement handle. I had not seen a repair quite like it before, woven, I believe, by a basket maker. Flash forward about 20 years when I was notified by one of my favorite dealers in the UK who offered me another jug with a similar woven handle. The photo he sent did not show the scale, so I had no idea what size the jug was. When an oversized parcel arrived a couple of weeks later, I unpacked what turned out to be a HUGE jug.

This Dutch shape pottery jug with blue and white transfer decoration and woven rattan replacement handle was made in England in the first quarter of the 1800s. Measuring 9.25 inches high and 12.5 inches wide from lip to handle, it is marked “Lasso” on the underside. It must have been much loved over the past 200 years, as is evident by the unusual replacement handle and large hole worn away on the bottom. Although unable to hold liquids today, this impressive jug and ultimate survivor still commands respect merely by sitting quietly on a shelf in my home.

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

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Photo courtesy of Applecross Antiques

Davenport Hydra jug, c.1810

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

This octagonal shaped jug with a snake form handle was made in Staffordshire, England, in the early 1800s. It is decorated with a cobalt blue geometric border, chrysanthemums, and leaves, with red and green overpainting and gilt highlights. On the underside is the stamp “DAVENPORT STONE CHINA,” which dates this jug to 1805-1820. It stands 7 inches high and is 6.5 inches wide from lip to handle.

It appears that well over 100 years ago this jug had a great fall, but unlike Humpty Dumpty, it WAS put back together again. A “china mender” used 27 metal staples to secure the cracks, adding an unintentional secondary pattern to the already busy design. For extra precaution, red wax was applied to the cracks on the inside, as a deterrent against possible leakage.

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The Slaughter Feast jug, c.1795

Saturday, August 13th, 2016

This pearlware pottery Prattware jug was most likely made in Staffordshire, England, between 1790 and 1800. It has molded polychrome relief decoration, with The Slaughter Feast, attributed to Ralph Wood, on one side of the jug and An Offering of Peace, designed by Lady Templetown and modeled by William Hackwood, on the other side. It measures 6.25 inches high.

It looks as though over 200 years ago someone took the image of The Slaughter Feast a bit too literally and broke off the handle. Luckily for the owner, a tinsmith was able to create a simple metal replacement handle so that the jug was able to function again. But as luck would have it, a brawl began after the first repair was completed, resulting in a damaged spout. Although the pressure is intense, I promise that as long as I am the keeper of this jug I will do my best to insure no further damage befalls it.

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This intact jug shows what the original handle on mine would have looked like before it took a tumble.

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Photo taken from the book Pratt Ware 1780-1840 by John and Griselda Lewis.

Small black teapot, c.1830

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

This small earthenware one-cup teapot has an “Egyptian black” or “shining black” salt glazed finish with low relief floral design. It was made in England between 1820 and 1840 and measures 3.50 inches high and 6.5 inches from handle to spout. Due to its small size it is also known as a Bachelor’s teapot. Some collectors and dealers believe that these are part of a child’s tea set but they are actually fully functioning teapots.

It is not uncommon for teapots to lose their lids and that’s just what happened here. But this one didn’t remain unlidded for long, as a tinker, most likely in the late 1800s, made a well crafted replacement from tin, adding a mass produced pewter knob to complete the job. The new lid has developed a rich, warm patina over the past 100+ years, blending in nicely with the mellow tones of the dark teapot.

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This teapot with its original cover intact suggests what the lid on mine might have looked like.

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Photo courtesy of eBay

Sprigged stoneware jug, c.1840

Sunday, June 26th, 2016

This small sprigged baluster form stoneware jug is decorated with applied vines of grapes around the middle and impressed leaves along the rim. A wash of brown glaze covers the top half of the jug. It was made in England in the mid 1800s, most likely in Bristol or Chesterfield, and measures 3.25 inches high and 4.5 inches from handle to spout.

Sometime in the late 1800s to early 1900s, the handle became detached. Luckily, the owner found a proficient tinsmith who fashioned a sturdy metal replacement with crimped detailing and horizontal support straps.

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

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Photo courtesy of Flickr

 

Copper lustre jug with blue bands, c.1840

Saturday, March 26th, 2016

This copper lustre blue-banded pottery jug, decorated with polychrome relief birds and flowers, stands 6.25 inches high and 8 inches from handle to spout. It was made in England in the mid 1800s.

After the handle broke off, sometime in the 19th century, it was taken to a tinker who fashioned an overscaled metal replacement handle with crimped edges, and ample finger and thumb rests. The remains of the lower handle terminal were left on the jug so the tinker just went around it when he did his repair.

Copper lustre decorated wares originated in the 9th century and were first made by Islamic potters. Inspired by these early pieces, English pottery houses, including Spode and Wedgwood, developed their own techniques, starting at the beginning of the 19th century and continuing to around 1860. Although highly collectible for decades, lustreware has recently fallen out of favor and can now be purchased for a fraction of what it once sold for.

This jug, identical in form and decoration, shows what the original handle on mine looked like before it broke off.

Photo courtesy of Ruby Lane.

NCECA conference 2016

Saturday, March 19th, 2016

Yesterday I had the pleasure of giving a talk at the NCECA conference in Kansas City, MO. I wasn’t prepared for seeing over 5,500 artists, curators, students and ceramic enthusiasts at the convention center and at various galleries, nor the abundance of the wonderful work on display and for sale.

Breaking (no pun intended) tradition from my weekly postings of inventive repairs, I am showing just a few of my favorite pieces, all perfectly intact. But after my lecture on the art of inventive repair, I am hoping some of these artists and others will be inspired to repair their own work, just in case the inevitable happens.

Mariko Paterson, Bird Brain, Bird Vain, 2016

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Lorna Meaden, Punch Bowl, 2016

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Kevin Snipes, Numbers, 2016

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Steven Young Lee, Maebyeong Vasw with Fish Decoration

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Richard Notkin, Brave New Old World

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Kristen Cliffel, Welcome Friends, 2012

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Jessica Brandl, Struggle and Strive, 2015

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Michelle Summers, Untitled Series, 2015

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Shari McWilliams, Octomug, 2013

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