Posts Tagged ‘staples/rivets’

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. 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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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.

 

French ‘Cornflower’ pattern jug, c.1778

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

This hard paste porcelain baluster-form jug with sparrow beak spout was made in Paris, France, by Andre Leboeuf at the Fabrique de la Reine factory, circa 1778. It is hand decorated in the ‘Cornflower’ pattern, also known as ‘Angoulême’ or ‘aux Barbeaux’, a favorite of Marie Antoinette and Thomas Jefferson. It measures 4.75 inches high and is marked on the underside with the letter ‘A’ and a gilt crown. Work of this kind is known as Porcelaine à la Reine and Old Paris Porcelain.

Unlike obvious repairs, such as replacement handles, spouts and lids, this jug possesses a chip off the old block, or more precisely, a chip off an old pot. The lip must have been so badly damaged that a jeweler or china mender had to graft on a piece from another vessel. The replacement piece, unintentionally cut in the shape of the State of Nevada, was fitted to the enlarged hole in the jug, just like a jigsaw puzzle, using two small brass rivets along the rim. An adhesive compound was applied along the edges to seal the deal. Not the most elegant of repairs but this jug must have meant so much to its original owner that a delicate jug with a Nevada-shaped patch was better than no jug at all.

This jug shows what the missing cover and metal mount on my jug might have looked like before Napoleon smashed it to the floor.

Photo courtesy of Rouillac

Minton Bute shape cup, c.1810

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

This bone china Bute shape tea cup is decorated with two-tone blue flowers, puce tendrils, gilt foliage and bands. Measuring 2.25 inches high with an opening of 3.25 inches, it was made by Minton in Stoke-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, England, in the early 1800s. The Minton mark and pattern number 76 is handwritten in blue on the underside.

When this delicate cup slipped from the hands of a previous owner, unusual symmetrical breaks resulted. It was most likely reassembled by an itinerant china mender in the 1800s who used nine brass staples to put the four porcelain puzzle pieces back in place. The integration of the staples, along with the existing floral motif, create an unexpected and exciting new pattern.

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This tea cup with matching saucer is shown without staples.

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Photo courtesy of WorthPoint

Chinese mug with multiple repairs, c.1750

Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

This bell-shaped footed porcelain mug was made in China in the mid 1700s. It has floral decoration in the Famille Rose palette and stands 5.5 inches tall.

It appears that someone literally loved this mug to pieces. I imagine that the person who dropped it must have been heartbroken, watching it tumble to the ground where it suffered multiple breaks, chips, and cracks. The early metal repairs, done over 150 years ago, included a band along the rim to stabilize cracks, braces on the handle, and rivets to reinforce four symmetrical chips. Much how time can mend a broken heart, a skilled restorer did an excellent yet eccentric job with this mug break-up.

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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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Happy 4th of July 2016!

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans.

And to my friends in the UK…sorry about that.

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