Stoneware tankard with silver-gilt mounts

The jug is probably from Cologne, Germany, around AD 1520-40
The mounts, London, AD 1584

This stoneware drinking jug has been salt-glazed. Stoneware is clay that has been fired at an extremely high temperature, resulting in a hard body that is impervious to water. It is often covered with a salt glaze, which is usually rough and slightly pitted. The Rhineland became a major centre for the production of stoneware from the thirteenth century, with workshops operating in Cologne, Frechen Siegburg and Raeren. Similar jugs were found on the Maximinenstrasse workshop site in Cologne; this jug was probably also made there.

By the sixteenth century these workshops were producing highly artistic wares applied with moulded decoration. The decoration comprised mythological and biblical scenes, often based on contemporary engravings, or naturalistic foliate ornament, political images and armorial devices. The twisted vine motif around the waist of this jug is based on designs printed in Peter Quentel's pattern book of 1527. The strapwork and foliate ornamental motifs on the silver-gilt mounts are characteristic of Tudor silver. Rhenish stoneware jugs were extremely popular in England, where many were transformed into luxurious objects of high status by the addition of silver or silver-gilt mounts. They were also exported throughout western Europe.

The silver-gilt hinge-box is punched with the initials: A / I +R'; AH / WB; R / IA.

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More information

Bibliography

P. Glanville, Silver in Tudor and Early Stua (London, 1990)

D. Gaimster, German stoneware, 1200-1900: a (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)

Dimensions

Height: 21.200 cm

Museum number

M&ME Silver Catalogue 31

MCN10646

Bequeathed by Sir A.W. Franks

Location

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