Stoneware tankard with the arms of the Englandfahrer trading company of Hamburg

From Siegburg, Germany, around AD 1595

This white unglazed stoneware tankard (schnelle) has three applied panels moulded in low relief, depicting in the centre the arms of the Englandfahrer Company and the inscription DER * ENGELAND / ES * FARER * GES / ELSCHOP * IN * / HAMBORCH ('The Englandfahrer Company in Hamburg'). On each side are the draped figure of Charity and the inscription 'DE LEIFDE' ('Charity') within a floral arcade.

Stoneware is clay that has been fired at an extremely high temperature, resulting in a hard body that is impervious to water. The Rhineland became a major centre for the production of stoneware from the thirteenth century, with workshops operating in Cologne, Frechen, Siegburg and Raeren. 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.

Siegburg was renowned for the production of an almost white stoneware with delicately modelled relief decoration in the Renaissance style. Merchants from Cologne were granted licence from 1570 to transport and sell Siegburg stoneware to merchants in Hamburg. The Englandfahrer Company was one of the merchant companies of the Hanseatic League, a group of powerful cities which controlled much of the North Sea and Baltic trade. Based in Hamburg, the Company traded exclusively with England. Company accounts dated 1596 show payment to the merchant Dietrich Dulmann for the supply of various types of stoneware, including pieces such as this, with the Company's arms.

Find in the collection online

More information



Height: 17.000 cm (max.)
Diameter: 5.300 cm (rim)
Diameter: 5.300 cm (rim)

Museum number

M&ME 1887,2-11,8


Gift of Sir A.W. Franks


Find in the collection online

Search highlights

There are over 4,000 highlight objects to explore