This gallery describes and shows several examples of Canton repairs and adaptations that people have made to their Canton over the years. When Canton became America’s everyday ware it took the place of wooden trenchers and pewter plates. Canton was readily welcomed but, unlike its predecessors it was more fragile. Accordingly, pieces were broken, cracked and chipped. Because Canton and the other Chinese porcelain was so highly prized, ways were developed to make repairs as you will see below.
This is a top for a small gravy tureen that was cracked and broken. The commonest repairs on broken pieces in earlier times was the use of brass staples. In those days they did not have the ceramic glues we have now. Here the repairer used 4 staples after drilling tiny holes for the staple to fit into. Once in awhile the holes were drilled too deeply and came out the other side, a result you would not want especially on the top side of a piece like this.
This next example is a combination between staples and wire. Note the handle repair on the sauce dish. There is a staple shown horizontally with wire wrapped vertically over the staple and around the loop handle.
The following 3 pictures show a Canton creamer that has a metal cover added and a loop handle that has probably been repaired or completely replaced. It is hard to tell as the handle is completely painted over as seen best in the first picture. The handle should have blue leaves on it and the handle seems too large for the creamer’s size but it does feel quite sturdy. Have you noticed that there is a thin gilt band around the pedestal base and you will see in the last picture that there is gilt inside along the creamer’s rim?
The soup tureen below lost its knob in the past and someone bored a hole through the top and added a silver colored metal knob. The knob is held in place on the underside by a drop of lead (?). The round knob spins around but does not unscrew. This knob actually works better than the original tureen knob as it is easier to grasp the knob and hold the heavy 3 lb. top.