This Tea Leaf ironstone pitcher was made by the firm of Alfred Meakin (1875-1976) in Tunstall, Staffordshire, England, in the 1880s. Pure white with a copper lustre traditional tea leaf centered on the front and back, the body style is called “Bamboo” and the hand painted trim is copper lustre as well. The printed black mark on the bottom includes the words “Royal Ironstone China” and “Alfred Meakin England.” In the center is a logo that mimics that of the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom, complete with the quote “Honi soit qui mal y pense” (from the French “Shame be to him who thinks evil of it”), the motto of the British Order of the Garter. The mark does not include “Ltd.” (Limited) in the firm’s name, which dates it to pre-1897, when that designation was added.
This pitcher is in excellent condition, with extremely fine crazing to the glaze and minor flaking to the lustre but no damage or staining–it’s glossy and immaculate. It measures 7 1/4 inches tall to the tops of both the handles and the spout, 6 3/4 inches across from spout to handle and 3 1/2 inches front to back. It weighs about 1 1/2 pounds. A lovely, barely used addition to a collection, it’s also usable for serving.
This vivid, humorous English sporting print is an original chromolithograph of ‘Breakfast at the Three Pigeons’ by Cecil Charles Windsor Aldin, R.B.A. (1870-1935). It’s from his first set of hunting prints, entitled “The Fallowfield Hunt,” which he began to publish in 1899. The set instantly became popular in both the U.K. and the U.S. and has remained so for over a century.
This scene shows the fox hunters breakfasting at the Three Pigeons Pub in Fallowfield, a suburb of Manchester, England. Their hounds are baying at the open door of the beamed ceiling dining room, no doubt anxious to get a taste of the side of ham on the long trestle table. The artwork is inscribed lower right in the matrix ‘Cecil Aldin 1900,’ his hand lettered signature a lovely example of an Arts and Crafts era font. Photograph #10 pictures Cecil Aldin with one of his beloved dogs.
The print is 15 inches by 24 inches ( 21 inches by 30 inches overall), surrounded by a 3 inch’ wide, grooved oak frame painted flat black. There is a half round gilt fillet and the covering glass is somewhat wavy. A hanging wire is installed on the back and it appears the intact paper dust cover is original. The frame, which we believe is original to the print, is in very good condition, with some scattered rubs to the paint and slight separation at the corners. A portion of one edge about 4 inches long on the left side was brushed with gold paint (see photograph # 7); this could be covered with flat black paint—we leave that to the buyer’s choice. The print itself is in excellent condition, no stains or tears, the colors fresh and perhaps even more vibrant than we were able to capture in our photographs. It’s a handsome, elegant way to bring rural England to your home.
Note: This print complete with glass and frame weighs 7 pounds, 6 ounces
This fabulous cased glass trumpet vase was mouth blown by Vincenzo Nason in Murano, Italy, in the 1990’s. The thin walled glass is an unusual color on the exterior, appearing a smoky grey or a grey tinted greenish, depending on the lighting. The cased layer on the interior is a vibrant cherry red. Standing 11 1/4 inches tall, it weighs a considerable 4 1/4 pounds. The flared mouth is 7 1/4 inches across while the bulbous base is 6 1/2 inches in diameter. The vase retains its original V. Nason & C. Murano Italy label with its white lettering printed on clear and also bears the diamond-engraved signature V. Nason on the bottom of the piece, shown in our photograph # 7. The bottom also exhibits a very large polished pontil scar. It’s in spectacular condition, showing virtually no wear.
After training at the famous Venini glassworks in Venice, Vincenzo Nason established his own glassworks called Vincenzo Nason & Cie in 1967, the name changing to V. Nason in 1989. The firm is no longer in business, having closed around the turn of the 21st century.
This handsome antique bed warmer was hand made with a copper pan that has a lid pierced with three concentric rows of circles. The handle, Shaker-like in its simplicity, is turned from a single piece of birch with a lovely pale color. Most of the bed warmers we’ve found over the years have dark wood or iron handles, so this one is a nice change.
The overall length is 37 inches, with the wooden handle measuring 22 inches. The pan is 10 inches in diameter and about 3 inches high and the bed warmer weighs a bit over 2 pounds. As you can see from the photo of the interior showing the scorch marks of the heated stones, it has been used. There are dimples in the copper and a small chip out of the wood where it is riveted to the ferrule (photograph # 9). We’ve left the old, darkened color, including the verdigris, but you can easily polish it to a shine if you prefer. We think there may have been a knob or ring of some sort in the center of the pan to lift the lid, but if so, it’s long gone.
Bed warming pans with long handles like this one were passed over the sheets and then removed, unlike foot warmers designed to remain in the bed during the night to warm the toes. Pierced warmers had the advantage of allowing the heat to more easily escape; the story that hot coals were used is a fiction, because they would make a smoky mess of the sheets. Stones heated on the hearth did the trick. When placed in the pan, they were more easily handled than a hot brick, which is what was used prior to the advent of these long-handled pans. Today we use these bed warmers to decorate our hearths and the pierced patterns are pleasingly eye-catching.
This handsome basket exhibits the exceptional workmanship and detailing that was given to both useful and ornamental objects by Chinese craftsmen. Baskets like these are commonly called wedding baskets but they are actually betrothal baskets. The two lidded compartments, finely woven of rattan, were used to transport gifts such as tea sets, linens, incense, candles and snacks and beverages.
The frame is dark reddish brown bamboo, the two sides beautifully carved with auspicious symbols and fastened with brass circlets. They form “feet” at the bottom and a stationary handle at the top, which can be used to carry the basket when it is filled and quite heavy. The wooden handle is surmounted by a heavy hand-wrought brass carrying handle set on an ornamental back plate pierced with symbols. The rattan portion of the topmost lid was woven in two colors to form a shòu character, symbol of longevity, wishing long life to the betrothed couple. There are also two small feet that support the basket, which is 20 1/2 inches tall to the top of the bamboo handle and about 16 inches across including the side supports. The basket weighs a sturdy 7 pounds, 4 ounces.
This example has seen use and shows obvious age, having been made in the latter part of the 1800’s in the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). The rattan basketry is rubbed along the sides from carrying, so there are areas that are lighter in color. The brass has developed a darkened patina and there is minor chipping along the bottom edges and on the feet. As is common with Chinese lidded baskets, the most wear is to the rim of the lid, where there is some loss of the bamboo edge (pictured). Overall, the basket is in very good condition. It displays beautifully and is large enough to be used as a side table, as well as a fabulous wedding gift.
This large, elegant standing floor globe is a vintage reproduction of a 1597 one by Jodocus Hondius (Dutch, 1563-1612), the foremost engraver of copperplate maps of his time. The globe itself is composed of map sections called gores, applied to a sphere 12 1/2 inches in diameter. A lovely antique parchment color, it is highly illustrated with sea monsters, sailing ships and compass roses, among many other interesting drawings. The labeling is in Latin and the geographical details fascinating.
The handsome floor stand is wrought iron with a dark patina, resting on three penny feet and having a series of simple wrought details at the center of the stem. The meridian is full-swinging, which means it’s attached to both the north and south poles. A person viewing the globe can then see the entire world by moving the globe, not moving their own position. It can be viewed standing up or sitting. The width at the flat center ring is about 17 inches and the distance the tapering feet extend out is also about 17 inches. It weighs 14 pounds and is one of the more impressive old world globes we’ve come across.
This globe is in excellent condition and a fabulous addition to your office, study or living room.
FOR INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMERS: WE ARE UNABLE TO SHIP THIS GLOBE OUTSIDE OF THE U.S.
A très charmant assiette from one of the manufactories in the Provençal village of Moustiers, France, this 19th century dish is faience, pale buff earthenware covered in a white tin glaze. It’s hand painted in shades of green, yellow and ocher, with a darling lamb cavorting among flowers and leaves. The molded piecrust rim is striped in yellow and ocher. It’s hand signed, also in ocher, on the reverse with a typical mark of this era, one comprised of letters only.
The plate measures about 10 inches across, is a little over an inch high and weighs a bit over a pound. The face is in lovely condition with a few of the usual tiny glaze pops, but no scratches or stains. There is a minute chip on the edge at the center bottom which would not show when displayed upright. On the back there are two chips (both pictured in separate photos); each of them also took out a small bite of the edge. Such chips are common with tin glazes. The three stilt marks are present and the foot rim is a bit blackened.
This beautiful plate enhances a collection of faience, works so well with Quimper and adds the allure of France to your décor.
An interpretation of the artist’s emotional response to a majestic landscape, this handsome original oil on academy board is signed lower right “M. Gross.” On the verso, it’s titled “Camp Fire” and dated 1932, lower right on the dust paper over the stretcher. A snow-covered peak towers in the background– possibly Mount Dana in the Sierra Nevadas at the eastern boundary of Yosemite–fronted by a sparkling blue lake and immense fir trees. In front of the teepee-style tent is seated a man, alone in the wilderness and relaxing in front of his campfire.
Overall, the work is 17 1/2 inches wide and 14 1/2 inches top to bottom and weighs 1 pound 10 ounces. The 1 inch wide frame is original to the painting. It is matte gilded wood, with a narrow inner gilt molding, a center strip of sponge-grained dark brown with gilt and an outer gilt molding with a simple geometric design. The painting is in great condition, with a few white flecks to the upper right of the tent against the trees the only blemish. The dust paper is torn and ragged; we’ve left it in its as-found condition but it’s easily and inexpensively replaced (be sure to preserve the title and date). The frame is good structurally, with tight corners, but has a few subtle chips here and there. There’s a double wire for ease in hanging this wonderful Impressionist landscape painting.