Posts Tagged ‘wire’

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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Liverpool Porcelain teabowl, c.1770

Sunday, June 14th, 2015

I purchased this unmarked soft-paste teabowl from an antique ceramics dealer in the UK who appreciates early repairs and has provided me with many interesting examples of make-do repairs over the years. This piece was made by Philip Christian Liverpool Porcelain, c.1765-70, and measures 1-3/4 inches  high x 3 inches  diameter. It has a fluted body with molded leaves and flowers, a cobalt blue underglaze border of leaves and berries, and a flower motif painted on the inside.

This delicate teabowl boasts multiple repairs done by a 19th century “china mender.” After the bowl broke, a large chip was reattached using tightly bound brass wire wrapped around holes drilled through the body, appearing at first like more commonly used staple repairs. A large blob of lead was applied to the center of the crack, acting as an anchoring rivet. A smaller chip along the rim, perhaps lost or too small to repair, has been replaced with a thin sliver of porcelain decorated with iron-red scrollwork from another piece entirely. This type of repair, using thin wire instead of metal staples, is typically associated with 19th century repair work done in Belgium and the South of France.

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Below is a “perfect” example with matching saucer.

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Photo courtesy of Antique Porcelain Online

Kangxi plate with replaced chip, c.1700

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

This porcelain plate, which measures 11-1/4″ in diameter, was made in China for export to North America and Europe during the reign of the Kangxi Emperor (1662-1722). The nicely detailed underglaze design in various hues of blue, consists of 8 panels of birds, animals and flowers, with a central circular motif and a border of prunus and lotus blossoms. The underside reveals a variation of the Lingzhi fungus mark, which looks to me more like a lotus blossom.

In the 18th or early 19th century, when the plate became damaged, a china repairer smoothed out the jagged edges left by the break and created a larger, more even space to accommodate a new replacement piece – much like a dentist preparing to replace a missing tooth or insert a mouth guard for teeth grinding. The repairer formed a replacement chip repurposed from a smaller broken plate with similar blue decoration and drilled holes in three places on both the large plate and the chip. He then used four strands of thin wire to attach the chip and cement to fill in the holes around the wire. The replacement chip, which is literally rough around the edges, appears to be dancing on the edge of the plate, suspended by a tiny wire harness.

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Thai Buddha amulet, c.1920

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

This small pottery amulet has an image in relief of Somdej, a Buddhist monk and son to King Rama II, meditating on a coiled snake, and was found in a temple in Siam (Modern Thailand) in the first part of the 19th century. These are typically found snugly fitted into tiny metal frames, allowing the amulet to be worn by a worshiper. In this case, the metal frame broke off and the owner or a tinker came up with a fast and economical remedy by encasing the amulet in what looks like small scale chicken wire. Not the most attractive solution but I am sure the owner was most appreciative and happy just to be able to wear the amulet again.

Amulet measures nearly 2″ long.

Another amulet, with similar design and form, is housed in a more appropriate metal frame. This is a more standard method of encasing and was perhaps how my amulet looked early in its life.

Photo courtesy of eBay

Miniature pearlware ladle, c.1840

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

English miniature soft paste pottery pearlware ladle from set of child’s dishes, measuring 3-3/4″ long and dating from the early to middle 1800s. The two broken halves are bound together by a criss cross of thin brass wire woven through 2 tiny holes on either side of the break. Small dabs of cement in each hole help secure the repair.

I pity the small child who briefly lost the use of their ladle during what might have been a fantasy feast. And I applaud the person who came to the rescue, making the two broken pieces whole again, thus allowing the imaginary dinner party to continue!

 

Herculaneum coffee can, c.1815

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Herculaneum pottery coffee can, made in Liverpool, England in the early 1800s. Herculaneum Pottery was based in Toxteth, and produced creamware and pearlware pottery, as well as bone china porcelain, between 1793 and 1841. This superbly decorated example has delicately hand painted flowers, birds and butterflies with gilt detailing. Although unmarked, the original pattern number is believed to be 905. Coffee can measures just over 2-1/2″ high and has a diameter of 2-3/4″. The sturdy replacement handle, made of bronze and covered in tightly wrapped rattan painted with red detailing, is held in place with the aid of two wires which pass through the body of the mug. It was most likely made by an English china mender in the mid-1800s.


Globular teapot with double repairs, c.1750

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Someone must have really loved this much abused Chinese export porcelain teapot with globular form and famille rose decoration. Not only does it have a severely chipped lid but it lost its original spout and handle sometime during its long life.

Teapot measures 5″ high.

The same red and green enamel decoration is on both sides.

A loose, cartoon-like decoration is revealed upon closer inspection.

When the porcelain handle broke off it was replaced with a wooden handle, possibly from a pewter teapot. It was repaired again later with reinforcement wire

A silver plated spout replaces the original one, sometime in the late 18th to mid 19th century.

Surprisingly, the original lid with skep-shaped knob has survived, though it bears the battle scars of large chips along the outer edge.

This teapot is in excellent condition and has both its handle and spout intact.

Photo courtesy of AntikWest

Large white bowl from Seville, c.1820

Monday, April 12th, 2010

This heavy pottery bowl with a white tin glaze has a subtle blue line gracing the rim. I found it in a small, packed antique shop in Seville, Spain during a recent vacation

The hand woven wire web holds the many cracks in the ceramic together, enabling the bowl to be functional again. The web effect reminds me of a turtle shell pattern and is similar to the repair on a Tuscan pottery jug I found in Italy

A triangular formation of unglazed bubbles on the inside show where the bowl was suspended on stilts during the firing. The bowl measures 6″ high and is 15-1/4″ in diameter.

I display the bowl on my dining table, along with a Spanish tin glazed wine jug I purchased from the same shop

Redware jug with lid, c.1870

Friday, March 26th, 2010

This 6″ tall cracked jug with a replaced mismatched lid and tin base, possibly from Pennsylvania, is covered in a web of hand woven wire.

Redware pottery is earthenware made from red clay containing ferrous oxide, and the dark spots on the surface are a result of manganese in the glaze.

the cracked base was completely covered in wire and tin, now rusted. Please take a look at Tuscan pottery jug, another example of an earthenware jug with a similar repair.

This antique redware jug with similar form is without cracks and wire reinforcement.

Photo courtesy of Malleries

Greek style teapot, c.1850

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Porcelain teapot made in the UK in the mid nineteenth century with matte finish neoclassical decoration, stands 7.25 inches long by 4.5 inches tall. I originally thought this teapot was made by Samuel Alcock but I have been told it was made by Dudson.

The other side of the teapot with chariot decoration.

Both the handle and the spout have an unusual repair of tightly wrapped metal wire.

The undamaged lid has extra deep sides.

The teapot was also available with a black background, shown here without the wire repairs.

Photo courtesy of eBay