Posts Tagged ‘staples/rivets’

Riveted Chinese Imari plate, c.1760

Sunday, March 4th, 2018

This porcelain plate was made in China during the Qianlong period (1736-95) and measures nearly 9 inches in diameter. It has a central motif of branches and flowers in the Japanese Imari palette of cobalt blue underglaze with red and gold overglaze washes. A fine plate, in my humble opinion, but not an extraordinary example by any means.

But…when the plate is turned over, the true beauty and the reason that I purchased it for my collection, is revealed. 34 small brass staples, seen only on the underside, clamp together the 8 broken pieces as tight as when the repair was done, over 200 years ago. Even though stapling, aka riveting, is the most common form of inventive repair, I still marvel at examples such as this. And naturally, I would proudly display it with the “wrong” side out.

Chinese basin bowl with 136 metal staples, c.1865

Sunday, February 4th, 2018

This large porcelain bowl was made in China durning the Tongzhi period (1862–1874). It is decorated with warrior figures, a horse, an interior scene & flowers in the famille rose palette and measures 14.75 inches in diameter and is 4.75 inches high. Originally it would have been part of a set which most likely included a matching water jug.

But the true beauty for me lies on the underside. After the bowl broke into 2 pieces, a skilled and patient china mender used 136 metal staples, placed in pairs, to make this broken bowl whole again. The work is extraordinary and the repair is tight, making it usable. And as you can see in the last photo, Oscar demonstrates that it also makes for a comfortable cat bed.

Blue & white transferware dish, c.1830

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

This serving dish was made in England by Wedgwood, c.1830. It is decorated with a blue transfer scene depicting buildings, ships, trees, and overscaled flowers along the border. On the underside is the stamped mark “WEDGWOOD’S STONE CHINA”. It measures 9 inches square.

Well over 100 years ago when this dish broke in half, it was brought to a “china mender” who repaired it using 12 metal staples, aka rivets. Originally it had a cover but I am guessing that when it took a tumble the lid was broken beyond repair. But at least the more functional piece survived and thanks to the handiwork of a 19th century restorer, this dish can still be used today.

 

This covered dish of similar form and decoration still has its original cover.

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Photo courtesy of eBay

Mounted Kangxi dish, c.1750

Sunday, September 24th, 2017

This porcelain dish was made in China for export to Europe in the middle 1700s. It is decorated with figures in blue, red, green, and black enamels and measures 8 inches long, including the mount, with a diameter of 4.25 inches.

Not only was this dish repaired on the underside using 4 metal staples, each .25 inches long, but a fragment from another piece was added to the ornate bronze rococo mount. Please take a look at an earlier post with a similar porcelain dish and bronze mount: Kanji period dish, c.1700.

 

London shape Coalport teapot, c.1812

Sunday, August 13th, 2017

This stately London shape porcelain teapot was made by the Coalport Porcelain Works of England, c.1812. It has a linear pattern in gold with red accents of birds perched on the branches of a fantastical tree, complete with a nest resembling an upturned straw boater hat. It measures 6.5 inches high and 10 inches from handle to spout.

Naturally, I prefer the side riddled with 21 metal staples, as I feel they add a layer of unintentional whimsy to the printed pattern beneath. The final photo shows the teapot on display at the exhibit Make-Do’s: Curiously Repaired Antiques, on view now through October 1 at Boscobel House and Gardens. Come see it, along with hundreds of other examples from my collection of antiques with inventive repairs.

 

“Disgrace is Worse than Death” armorial plate, c.1755

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

This octagonal porcelain armorial plate measures 8.5 inches in diameter and was made in China for export to England in the mid 1700s. It has floral decoration in the famille rose palette with gilt highlights and features a prominent coat of arms. It was part of a large dinnerware service, consisting of hundreds of matching pieces, each with the same hand painted decoration.

After this once broken plate was repaired with 4 sturdy metal staples over 200 years ago, it was most likely weeded out from the rest of the set later in its life by an antiques dealer who didn’t want imperfect pieces mingling with untarnished ones. I found the plate at a small antiques fair in London a few years ago and brought it back with me to New York City, where it now coexists with other former orphans, each scarred but accepted for their imperfections.

From Chinese Armorial Porcelain by David Sanctuary Howard, p.539:
“The arms, beneath a knight’s helm, are of Shard of Horsleydown in Surrey, Argent a bend sable, in chief a bugle horn of the last in base a stag’s head couped proper attire of the third; crest, A lion passant per pale or and sable guttee counterchanged, resting the dexter paw on a bugle horn of the second; impaling Clark of Sanford, Azure two bars or, on a chief of the last three escallops sable (see Clarke P22); motto ‘Pejus letho flagitium’ (‘Disgrace is worse than Death’).
These arms were borne by Sir Abraham Shard, of Kennington in Surrey, who died before this service was made in August 1746 (and from whom these arms the helm was probably copied). The service was probably made for his son or nephew or for another descendant of Sir Isaac Shard, whose daughter Martha married about 1710 Roger Hill (uncle of Abigail Lockey, third wife of Lewis Way – see Way with Lockey in pretence, P18).”

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This large serving platter is from the same dinnerware service as my plate. Too bad it doesn’t have early staple repairs.

Photo courtesy of Dubey’s Art & Antiques

Character jug with stapled face, c.1924

Saturday, June 17th, 2017

Is this another monster created by Dr. Frankenstein? Not exactly, but it looks like his English relative.

This blue-glazed pottery character jug in the form of British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin was designed by Percy Metcalfe and produced in Surrey, England, by Ashtead Potters between 1923-1929. It stands 7.5 inches high and is boldly marked on the underside and numbered 202 of a limited edition of one thousand.

We will never know for sure if the jug became broken accidentally or if it was thrown in disgust as a result of a disagreement over the political views of the Right Honorable Stanley Baldwin. Either way, four small metal staples were used to repair his broken face. Ouch, that’s gotta hurt!

Three other commemorative jugs were made in this series. Shown here in Pearl Barley glaze, they include Attorney General Lord Hailsham (Douglas McGarel Hogg), British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, and Australian Prime Minister Stanley Melbourne Bruce.

Photo courtesy of Ashtead Pottery

Lalique “Coquilles” glass bowl, c.1900

Friday, May 5th, 2017

This elegant Art Nouveau opaline glass bowl was made by Lalique in France, circa 1900. It is decorated with molded overlapping clam shells in the Coquilles No.2 pattern and measures 8.25 inches in diameter. “R. LALIQUE, FRANCE no. 3201” is etched on the underside.

Most people are amazed when they first encounter staple repairs on ceramics. When they see the same technique applied to glassware, they are stupefied. Click on this entry: Miniature cranberry glass punch cup, c.1890, to see one quarter inch staples holding together a tiny glass cup. It’s hard to imagine how this delicate work was done, let alone how the repairs have remained intact for over 100 years.

Chinese Qianlong plate, c.1750

Friday, April 7th, 2017

This plate was made in China during the Qianlong period (1736–1795) for export to North America and Europe. It measures nearly 9.25 inches in diameter and is decorated in cobalt blue over a light blue ground.

Well over 225 years ago after the plate dropped and a large chunk along the rim broke off, it was taken to a china mender who reattached the broken pieces using metal staples. Hand marked in red on the underside is “Mrs. Lou Pearson”, which I assume is the name of the owner who brought the plate in for repair. Signed pieces such as this are uncommon and bring us one step closer to the mostly undocumented world of the men and women who did these marvelous, anonymous repairs.

Oslo National Academy of the Arts

Saturday, February 25th, 2017

Last March I was invited to speak about the art of inventive repair at Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHiO) to students in the Art and Craft department. Along with professor and ceramic artist Paul Scott and fellow visiting speaker and metalsmith artist David Clarke, we shared our interests and passions with the students, showing examples of our work and inspiration and looking at money metals exchange complaints. I was in excellent company and thoroughly enjoyed the experience and my visit to Norway.

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On view at the KHiO library is an installation recreating the office of Kai Gjelseth, a graphic designer, illustrator and associate professor of design at KHiO. The glass-walled office is filled with an eclectic assortment of interesting objects and ephemera collected from his trips abroad. Naturally, my favorite item is a large white porcelain bowl riddled with metal staples. I would love to know where he found it and what drew him to it.

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