Talavera de la Reina (Toledo). Siglo XVII (Sala 29, Vitrina 2)
This piece is an example of a historic repair and still displays the orifices that were made to insert staples. These iron or bronze staples were used to join or “stitch” the broken parts of a ceramic or metal object. The pottery mender was a usually itinerant craftsman who repaired different kinds of containers.
With the passage of time and the continual use of the repaired objects, the staples became rusty, expanded and produced stains, sometimes damaging the tin glaze. As a result, for several decades the tendency was to remove them and camouflage the orifices, as in the case of this bowl.
The Conservation Department at the National Archaeological Museum currently follows the criteria of preserving staples because they form part of the history of the pieces and provide important social and economic information.