Tutekanne, Herrebøe Fajansefabrikk

This spouted pot was manufactured by Herrebøe Fajanse-fabrikk, on order from the lordship at Værne Kloster manor house in 1768. The factory Herrebøe ran operations from 1759 to 1770, and was situated in Idd near Halden, Norway. Not so many of these objects from the Herrebøe factory still remain today – the ones that do are well worth preserving. I treated this spouted pot at the request of its private owner in 2023.

Before treatment:

It is said that this spouted pot with metal lid was originally imported from the Duchy of Holstein by Brigadier Niclas Sibbern in the 17th Century. However, its original ceramic part was later destroyed. Herrebøe Fajansefabrikk therefore created a new faience pot for the original metal lid, with the family’s coat of arms hand painted as cobalt blue brush decorations.

The pot has been broken into pieces and repaired several times. This was evident by the different types of glues and filling materials used in its joints. These materials were no longer doing a good job maintaining the pot’s structural stability, nor its aesthetic appearance. The joints and gap fillings were both loose and discolored, and the choice of conservation method demanded a complete disassembly to clean away previous additions and discolorations.

The disassembling and cleaning was performed using both organic solvents and mechanical methods. The process revealed where its original material had been lost, and remaining were 80 original pieces of different sizes. Each piece was cleaned with an anionic detergent before reassembling. To enhance structural stability, missing parts were reconstructed with hard plaster. Weak parts were even supported by adding reinforcements from the inside, both in the spout and on the joints around the handle. The treatment was finished off by retouching with putty, acrylic based paint, and a protective coating.

The retouching was in part guided by an old photograph of the pot, found in Lauritz Opstad’s book from 1959; Herrebøe Fajance Fabrique – et norsk industri-eventyr fra rokokko-tiden. In this book, Opstad highlights Herrebøe Fajansefabrikk as the factory where the Rococo style found its most consistent expression in Norway and even in the Nordics. Around 400 objects from the Herrebøe factory are still preserved, and the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Norway holds the biggest collection of them.

After treatment: