A Chinese Punch Pot and Cover, Qianlong, circa 1760

Made of Chinese soft-paste porcelain, this Qianlong punch pot is finely painted in underglaze blue with a Chinese fenced garden scene depicting a hollow rock, peonies and bamboo. The pattern is repeated on the reverse and also on the cover. A collar surrounding the knop links the cover to the handle with a silver chain.

The silver spout was added at some point during the 18th century, as was the fruitwood handle.

Tea Pots that pours (sic) indifferently, may be made to pour smoothly by tipping them neatly with Silver, otherwise by taking off their own Spouts and substituting new ones of Silver or any other Metal. Neat work’d basket handles for Tea-Pots, Coffee-Pots, Sauce-Boats, Cream-Jugs, &c, &c.‘.

Trade card of Edward Coombs, China Burner and Mender

One notable mender of ceramics was Edward Coombs (also Coombes) of Queen Street, Bristol, who flourished during the late 18th century. Coombs styled himself as a China Burner, and would use various methods to repair ceramics, often signing his work. The V&A Museum has a Chinese porcelain tea bowl (C.14-2008) with a ‘glass bonded’ repair, signed ‘Coombes Queen Street Bristol‘.

Condition: In addition to the replacement handle and spout, there are chips to the rim of the cover and a tiny chip to the underside of the knop. There is also a chip to the foot rim and dimples to the silver spout. No further damage or restoration. A patch of wear to the glaze between the handle terminals is likely to have occurred when the handle was removed. Typical potting, glazing and firing anomalies often encountered with Chinese soft-paste porcelain.

Dimensions: Height 19.5 cm (to top of knop); Length 27 cm (from spout tip to widest point on the handle)

A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics, Suzanne G. Valenstein (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1989).

Chinese Ceramics, Masahiko Sato (Weatherhill/Heibonsha, 1978).