Pater Gratia Oriental Art

Sold Ceramics

 

Sold Chinese wares over-decorated in the West 1700-1800

 

English over-decorated Clobbered wares

 

Page 1

In the eyes of some scholars and collectors of both Chinese and European porcelains, Chinese export porcelains decorated in Europe are a chinoiserie hybrid. Thanks to this prejudice, such wares have been long overlooked and frequently denigrated with the term clobbered. In the late 19th century European decorated oriental porcelain was called 'clobbered', a word that came into the English language in the mid-19th century meaning as a noun, 'a black paste used by clobbers to fill up and conceal cracks in leather', and as a verb, 'to patch up, to cobble'. Later it was applied to old clothes meaning 'to renovate' and by the 19th century it was it was applied to porcelain. In 1900, F.Litchfield stated, 'There is a description of Chinese known as clobbered .... overpainted with ....ornament ..... sold for decorated oriental China.' It was a derogatory term meaning that the European decorator had plastered his style of decoration all over the pot with total disregard for the original which was the case in much Chinese blue-and-white over-decorated in the early 19th century and which are to blame for the poor reputation of these wares ever since. (Espir 2005, p.75), (Sargent 2012, p.499

2010226
2010226

Sold Ceramics - Sold Chinese wares over-decorated in the West 1700-1800 - English over-decorated Clobbered wares - Page 1

 

Object 2010226

 

Cream dish

 

China

 

1730-1750, over-decorated in England c.1770-1830

 

Provenance: Fa. A.C. Beeling & Zn, Hofleverancier (seller to The Dutch Royal House), Leeuwarden, the Netherlands.

 

Height 38 mm (1.50 inch), diameter of rim 160 mm (6.30 inch), diameter of footring 80 mm (3.15 inch)

 

Cream dish on footring, flat underglaze brown-edged rim (jia mangkou). Decorated in underglaze blue with a taihu rock and flowering chrysanthemum and bamboo plants beside a low table with a flower vase and antiquities. On the sides a diaper-pattern border with four reserves each filled with a flower. Round the rim rockwork with foliage and fruit. On the reverse two flower sprays. Over-decorated in iron-red, gold and other overglaze enamels, in England, clobbered, c.1770-1830, To the base a rectangular paper label that reads: 'Fa. A.C. Beeling & Zn Hofleverancier (seller to The Dutch Royal House), Leeuwarden, China periode Chien-Lung (1736-1796) antiquiteiten'.

 

According to Espir cream this dish belongs to a group of Chinese porcelain over-decorated with what is thought to be English decoration dating from c.1780 until about 1830. It is generally garish and so overwhelming that it gave rise to the term 'clobbered' and the poor reputation from which all over-decorated Chinese porcelain has suffered since the late 19th century. Much of the Chinese porcelain over-decorated in this way was blue and white dating back to the flood of imports from the first half of the eighteenth century which by then was one hundred years old second hand and so unfashionable as to be unsaleable. (Apparently, the quality of this 'older' kraak dish was, at that time, also considered unfashionable but fashionable enough to be used for over-decoration) On the base of many pieces over-decorated in this way is a decorator's mark in iron-red in the form of a square filled with a pseudo-Chinese character.  (Espir 2005, pp.239-240)     

 

For a Chinese goblet c.1690 with similarly English over-decoration c.1780-1830 , please see:

Condition: A firing flaw and a chip to the rim.

 

References:

Sargent 2012, p.183

Espir 2005, pp.239-240 

 

Price: Sold.

 

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2010259
2010259

Sold Ceramics - Sold Chinese wares over-decorated in the West 1700-1800 - English over-decorated Clobbered wares - Page 1

 

Object 2010259

 

Bowl

 

China

 

1720-1740, over-decorated in England 1750-1770

 

Height 69 mm (2.72 inch), diameter of rim 112 mm (4.41 inch), diameter of footring 50 mm (1.97 inch)

 

Bowl on footring with steeply rounded sides and a straight underglaze brown-edged rim (jia mangkou). Decorated in underglaze blue with issuing flowering lotus plants, on the bottom a single flower spray in a double concentric band. Over-decorated with iron-red and gold in England, clobbered, c.1750-1770,  with oval shaped cartouches filled with leafy flower sprays. Round looped reserves with hanging ribbons. Marked on the base with a square shop mark in a double circle, underglaze blue.

 

For an identically shaped, sized and over-decorated bowl, please see:

Condition: Perfect.

 

References:

Sargent 2012, p.183

Salisbury 2014, cat. 404

 

Price: Sold.

 

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2010529
2010529

Sold Ceramics - Sold Chinese wares over-decorated in the West 1700-1800 - English over-decorated Clobbered wares - Page 1

 

Object 2010529

 

Tea caddy

 

China

 

1720-1740, over-decorated in England 1750-1770

 

Height 107 mm (4.21 inch), dimensions 41 mm (1.61 inch) x 82 mm (3.23 inch)

 

Tea caddy of rectangular form with canted corners on a flat, unglazed base with original cover. Underglaze brown-edged rim (jia mangkou). Decorated in underglaze blue around the foot and shoulder with a border of folded leaves with reserves filled with a floret between scrolls. Over-decorated with iron-red, gold and other overglaze enamels in the England, clobbered, c.1750-1770 with large panels filled with a riverscape alternating with smaller panels filled with flowering plants reserved on a flower head-pattern ground. On the flat shoulder two groups of flowering plants. The cover is decorated and over-decorated en suite.

 

Condition: Some firing flaws to the neck, the original cover restored.

 

Reference:

Sargent 2012, p.183

 

Price: Sold.

 

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2010195
2010195

Sold Ceramics - Sold Chinese wares over-decorated in the West 1700-1800 - English over-decorated Clobbered wares - Page 1

 

Object 2010195

 

Spoon or leak tray

 

China

 

1730-1750, over-decorated in England, 2nd half 18th century.

 

Height 20 mm (0.78 inch), dimensions 140 mm (5.51 inch) x 80 mm (3.15 inch)

 

Oval shaped spoon or leak tray on a smooth unglazed base. Decorated in underglaze blue wit two groups of flowering plants. On the reverse sides two flower sprays. Over-decorated in iron-red and gold in England, clobbered, c.1750-1770 with a flower basket in a central roundel surrounded by scattered flower heads. Round the rim four reserves filled with flower heads and leafy scrolls.

 

A spoon or leak tray was used to protect the surface of luxurious lacquer or painted tea tables, against the influence of a hot teapot or drops running from its spout. If, in certain circles, a special tea table was not at hand it served to protect the furniture or its valuable table-cloth from tea spots. (Volker 1959

 

For an identically shaped, sized and over-decorated spoon or leak tray, please see:

Condition: Some glaze frits to the rim.

 

References:

Volker 1959

Salisbury 2014, cat. 405

 

Price: Sold.

 

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2010236
2010236

Sold Ceramics - Sold Chinese wares over-decorated in the West 1700-1800 - English over-decorated Clobbered wares - Page 1

 

Object 2010236

 

Small mug


China

1740-1750, over-decorated in England c.1750-1770

 

Height 65 mm (2.56 inch), diameter of rim 55 mm (2.17 inch), diameter of footring 55 mm (2.17 inch)

 

Small mug with handle on a flat unglazed base. Decorated in underglaze blue with with a continuous river scene with mountains, pagodas, rocks and trees. On the handle a single flower spray. Over-decorated in iron-red and gold in England, clobbered, c.1750-1770 with flowering plants, ducks a fishing boat and pagodas with flags. On the bottom a single flower.

 

For a similarly over-decorated coffee cup, please see:

Condition: A frit to the rim and some tiny fleabites to the rim.

 

Reference:

Salisbury 2014, cat. 429

 

Price: Sold.

 

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2011398
2011398

Sold Ceramics - Sold Chinese wares over-decorated in the West 1700-1800 - English over-decorated Clobbered wares - Page 1

 

Object 2011398

 

Saucer

 

China

 

1735-1745, over-decorated in England, c.1735-1745

 

Height 20 mm (0.79 inch), diameter of rim 120 mm (4.72 inch), diameter of footring 70 mm (2.76 inch), weight 61 grams (2.15 ounce (oz.))

 

Saucer on footring, straight rim. Decorated with overglaze green and white enamel flowering plants growing from a taihu (garden) rock. Over-decorated in iron-red and gold in England, clobbered, c.1735-1745, with a single butterfly, (carefully positioned on the original taihu (garden) rock and gilded panels and borders. The reverse is undecorated.

 

Technically a fascinating saucer, it seems that the original decoration has tried to be burned of before the English 'clobbered' over-decoration was applied. 

 

For an originally Chinese decorated object, please see:

Condition: Two popped bubbles of glaze caused by the firing process to the rim.

 

Reference:

Mudge 2000, cat. 184

 

Price: Sold.

 

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2012124
2012124

Sold Ceramics - Sold Chinese wares over-decorated in the West 1700-1800 - English over-decorated Clobbered wares - Page 1

 

Object 2012124

 

Spoon or leak tray

 

China

 

1730-1740, over-decorated in London England c.1755-1765, possibly by James Giles or his workshop.

 

Provenance: The Geoffrey Godden Reference Collection.

 

Height 12 mm (0.47 inch), dimensions 122 mm (4.80 inch) x 76 mm (2.99 inch), weight 78 grams (2.75 ounce oz.))

 

Spoon or leak tray with hexagonal sides and a partial glazed base. Decorated with a carved (ahnua) taihu (garden) rock and flowering plants growing from behind a fence in low relief and decorated in underglaze blue with on the sides with a narrow band with honeycomb motifs. Over-decorated in England c.1755-1765, with iron-red and various enamel colour with a butterfly, an insect and various scattered European flowers. The rim in overglaze (dark) brown. On the base three paper labels, a rectangular paper collectors label that reads; GOODEN REFERENCE COLLECTION, a circular paper dealers label that reads; STOCKSPRING ANTIQUES Early James Gilles 37 and another circular paper dealers label that reads; KLABER & KLABER GUARENTEED GENUINE 6/03.  

 

labels

 

A spoon or leak tray was used to protect the surface of luxurious lacquer or painted tea tables, against the influence of a hot teapot or drops running from its spout. If, in certain circles, a special tea table was not at hand it served to protect the furniture or its valuable table-cloth from tea spots. (Volker 1959)

 

In the eyes of some scholars and collectors of both Chinese and European porcelains, Chinese export porcelains decorated in Europe are a chinoiserie hybrid. Thanks to this prejudice, such wares have been long overlooked and frequently denigrated with the term clobbered. In the late 19th century European decorated oriental porcelain was called 'clobbered', a word that came into the English language in the mid-19th century meaning as a noun, 'a black paste used by clobbers to fill up and conceal cracks in leather', and as a verb, 'to patch up, to cobble'. Later it was applied to old clothes meaning 'to renovate' and by the 19th century it was it was applied to porcelain. In 1900, F.Litchfield stated, 'There is a description of Chinese known as clobbered .... overpainted with ....ornament ..... sold for decorated oriental China.' It was a derogatory term meaning that the European decorator had plastered his style of decoration all over the pot with total disregard for the original which was the case in much Chinese blue-and-white over-decorated in the early 19th century and which are to blame for the poor reputation of these wares ever since. (Espir 2005, p.75), (Sargent 2012, p.499

 

The lack of documentation and the decorators' anonymity-plus, admittedly, the lesser abilities of some independent decorators-have increased mainstream collectors' distancing from these wares. A commentator referred to such pieces as 'inoffensive, at worst a ruinous clobber', and observed that 'the Dutch in particular seem to have been firmly of the opinion that tuppence coloured was better than penny plain, and they suited the action to the word'. The term over-decorated may suggest that too much decoration was used, making it an unsatisfactory term. Over-decorated, clobbered, embellished ... none of these terms readily describes these wares. Many extremely fine European decorators used Chinese porcelains as their 'canvas', however, and it is only recently, with the work of Helen Espir, that these wares and their decorators have received their due.

In England 'China painters' (as they were sometimes identified) included James Gilles (or Gilles), Sr., and one known only as Campman, both of whom were working in 1723. Between 1756 and 1775, both Giles's son James (1718-1780), who worked on porcelain and glass and Jefferyes Hammett O'Neale (1724-1801), who was associated with fable painting, were well-known London decorators associated with the Worcester factory. (Sargent 2012, pp.499-500

 

Till now the earliest known documentary evidence of London 'china painters' is in the 1723 Probate Inventory of Henry Akerman, a London shopkeeper selling chinaware, glassware, stoneware and tin-glazed ware, where debts are recorded to 'Gilles China Painter' and 'Campman China painter'. Giles must be James Gilis senior, who was recorded as a 'china painter' of St Giles in the Fields in 1729 when his eldest son Abraham was apprenticed to Philip Margas, another well-known 'chinaman'. Giles' brother in law was Francis bacon also of St Giles in the Fields, who was described in his will in 1737 as 'china painter', who authenticated Giles' handwriting in his Will, stating that he had 'worked with him (Giles) as a servant in his of business for some years'.... 'and to the time of his death' in 1741, was probably the son of Francis Bacon and nephew of Gilis. Giles' younger son James (1718-1780) was to have a distinguished career as a porcelain retailer and decorator from the 1750s to the 1770s. (Espir 2005, pp.213-215) 

 

Geoffrey Godden was an author, historian, collector and dealer; but to the public he was best known for his expert valuations of fine – and not-so-fine – china on BBC Television’s Antiques Roadshow.

Godden called himself a “Chinaman” – an 18th-century term for a dealer in ceramics – and over five decades created a body of reference works that has added greatly to our knowledge of the medium. He insisted, however, that ceramics should be picked up and inspected. “You have to handle and view pieces closely,” Godden said. “Possession is almost vital to understanding.”

He published some 30 books which produced a detailed survey of English porcelain makers, from Bow, Chelsea and Derby, to Lowestoft, Liverpool and Worcester. He also wrote widely on porcelain produced outside Britain.

All of his writing, he observed, aimed to “open the reader’s eyes to the pleasures that await an inquisitive collector”. So prolific was his output that his Antiques Roadshow colleague Henry Sandon nicknamed him the “Barbara Cartland of Ceramics”.

Geoffrey Arthur Godden was born on February 2, 1929 at Worthing to Leslie Godden, an antiques dealer, and his wife Molly. After leaving Worthing High School, Geoffrey joined the family antiques business, Godden of Worthing (founded in 1900 by Geoffrey’s grandfather, Arthur).

He spent part of his teenage years packing and exporting antiques to the United States to raise funds for the war effort. He also caught the collecting bug. “I just naturally began to purchase – with my modest pocket-money – broken specimens of attractive 18th-century porcelain as others of my age might have spent their allowance saving for a new bike or model train,” he recalled.

Called up for National Service in 1947, Godden served in the Hampshire Regiment at Winchester, the Royal Sussex Regiment and finally the Queen’s own Royal West Kent Regiment at Shornecliffe.

When he was demobbed, he re-joined the family firm, specialising in 18th and 19th-century English ceramics, a radical departure from the company’s focus on furniture.

Every book I and other experts take to every roadshow was written by Geoffrey Godden. John Sandon

Having been told by his father that “if you want to know about something, write a book on it”, he published his first volume, Victorian Porcelain, in 1961. His Illustrated Encyclopedia of Pottery and Porcelain (1966) followed; it was subsequently chosen by Derek Nimmo as his book on Desert Island Discs.

Godden’s first love was Lowestoft porcelain, which had been readily available and inexpensive during the 1940s. He was drawn to these wares by their honest, anglicised interpretation of Chinese ceramic designs, often painted by women and children. “There is a homely quality to English blue and white,” he noted. In 1969 he published The Illustrated Guide to Lowestoft Porcelain (revised in 1985).

Over the following decades Godden produced countless books, often focusing on individual factories, as with Minton Pottery & Porcelain of the First Period (1968); others examined decoration – Godden’s Guide to English Blue and White (2004) – and centres of production, such as Chinese Export Market Porcelain (1979). Enthusiasts refer to his 750-page Encyclopeadia of British Pottery and Porcelain Marks (1964, and still in print) as “the bible”.

When signing books Godden would add “Have Fun” or “A Trifle from Worthing”, the latter mimicking the rare “Trifle from Lowestoft” inscriptions found on some porcelains. He joked that unsigned copies of his books were much rarer, given the specialist nature of the work.

By the 1970s, Godden was appearing on the antiques quiz show Going For A Song with Arthur Negus and, in the 1990s and early 2000s, was a regular contributor to Antiques Roadshow as a member of its ceramics team.

On one roadshow Godden and John Sandon (the son of Henry Sandon and a director at Bonhams) were sharing a table when a woman unpacked a china tea set. Godden informed her that it was made in the 1870s. “No, you’re wrong”, she insisted, “it’s a hundred years older than that, can’t you check in those books the other experts are using? They must be written by real experts.” “I couldn’t help bursting out laughing,” Sandon recalled. “Every book I and other experts take to every roadshow was written by Geoffrey Godden.”

Godden lectured extensively in Britain and abroad, was president of the Northern Ceramics Society (2000-12) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 1992 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Keele University.

Despite the lack of any formal training, Godden was a great educator. At home in Worthing he became a mentor to younger experts, giving seminars and hosting study weekends.

In his youth, Godden was a keen angler, representing Worthing Sea Anglers in national competitions. Later, he developed an interest in bowls, playing at the Worthing Bowling Club at Beach House Park. In 1988 he published his Beginner’s Guide To Bowls and would ruefully explain to ceramics audiences that this was his most popular book.

In 1964 Godden married Jean Magness, whose parents were market gardeners in Worthing and suppliers of strawberries to George VI. She predeceased him, and he is survived by their son.

Geoffrey Godden, born February 2, 1929, died May 10, 2016.

(source: www.telegraph.co.uk

 

Condition: A firing flaw to the base, a popped bubble of glaze to the bottom, aa overdecorated frit (indicating the frit was already on the rim before the over-decorating) and a restored chip to the rim.

 

References:

Volker 1959

Espir 2005, p.75 & pp.213-215

Sargent 2012, pp.499-500

www.telegraph.co.uk

 

Price: Sold.

 

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