The Story of the British Museum, £8.99
Height: 18.800 cm
Bottle: Gift of Sir A.W. Franks
M&ME 1887,2-10,105 (Pottery Catalogue F 14);M&ME Pottery Catalogue F 13, 1-20
Room 46: Europe 1400-1800
Stoneware bottle and twenty brass moulds
From London, England, around AD 1685
The salt-glazed stoneware bottle was made in the Fulham Pottery under the direction of John Dwight (about 1635-1703). The letter 'C' is probably for King Charles II (1660-85). Dwight, a scholar and amateur scientist, patented his discovery of the salt-glazing technique in 1672. The same year he founded his pottery in Fulham with the intention of making porcelain, where he developed a number of new bodies, including a highly refined white stoneware that could be modelled; The British Museum has a portrait bust by Dwight of Prince Rupert.
Dwight's second patent of 1684 included the making of 'marbled porcellane', experimental agate ware, which was unique in Europe. He also experimented with decorative techniques; his wares became known for their sophisticated use of sprigged decoration, as on this bottle. 'Sprigged' decoration is achieved by filling stamps, or moulds, with soft clay, usually in a contrasting colour to the body of the object, and then applying directly to the body.
twenty brass stamps were probably cut by Reinier Arondeaux (about
1655-1727). They display a wide range of subjects: floral motifs,
A. Oswald, R.J.C. Hildyard and R.G. Hughes, English brown stoneware, 1670- (London, Faber, 1982)
D. Gaimster, German stoneware, 1200-1900: a (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)
C. Green, 'John Dwight's Fulham pottery', English Heritage Archaeologica, 6 (1999)