March 12, 2013

Stapled China

At one of the auctions I attended earlier this year, one of the pieces in a lot of china and glassware I got was a china vase in the shape of leaves. It’s an good-looking piece, I think it’s German, but what really fascinated me about it was that it had been broken and stapled back together. The vase must have been someone’s prized possession for them to go to the effort of having it repaired. When broken, the piece was taken to the jeweler for repair. The jeweler would drill holes in the china using a rod of metal dipped in diamond dust, turned by a stick and string. The holes were used for the metal staples. these repairs were watertight and very strong. This piece is all the more special because of its flaws, and because someone cared enough about it to fix it.

For more fun fixes, wander over to Past/Imperfect, and see what crazy things people have done to repair their treasures.


  1. One of the best museum exhibits I've ever seen was about 6 years ago at Musee de quai Branley in Paris. It featured repaired objects from Africa, with the emphasis on the quality/beauty of the repairs.

  2. I love old china when it has been repaired with staples. To me it's a mark of quality.


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