- Museum number
- Object: The Sandys Mug
Mug; soft-paste porcelain; painted with lake-side scene including gentleman wearing blue jacket and tricorn hat, accompanied by a dog enclosed by purple scrolls and with flowers either side of the handle; gilt rim, handle and man's hat gilt; inscribed and dated.
- Production date
Height: 11.80 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- A pearlware jug inscribed in blue 'Tracey for ever/at Ombersly Court' was sold at Sotheby's, Early English and Continental Ceramics, 6 June 1989. Ombersley Court was the home of Samuel, first Lord Sandys. The jug was made in the second half of the 18th century, and may be connected with the election campaign of Robert Tracy in 1761 for the seat of Worcester, or with a later campaign by his younger brother, Thomas, also a Member of Parliament.
Text from Dawson 2007:
This mug with its inscription is painted with one of the most charming scenes to be found on Worcester porcelain: a gentleman wearing a grey wig and carrying a gold topped cane stands in a landscape by a lake and gestures with his right hand to a a pug standing in front of him.The identity of this figure remains unresolved. It is not impossible that it represents Lord Sandys himself, who would then have been aged sixty-four. Samuel Sandys of Ombersley, Droitwich, Worcestershire, 1st Lord Sandys (1695-1770), was Member of Parliament for Worcester between 1718 and 1743 and an active opponent of Sir Robert Walpole. He was Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons from 1742 to 1743, when he was created Baron Sandys. In 1756 he was Speaker of the House of Lords. He had two sons, Edwin (1726-97) and Martin (c.1729-68).
There was an intimate connection between Dr John Wall, one of the principal partners in the Worcester porcelain factory, and Lord Sandys, as Sandys had been one of the young Wall's guardians. In 1740 Wall married Lord Sandys' cousin, Catherine Sandys, the daughter of Martin Sandys, Town Clerk of the City of Worcester.
The scene, painted in a pale palette found on a series of other pieces (see nos 24 and 27 for instance), is framed in a spendid puce rococo scroll cartouche entwined with an oak branch at either side, similar to cartouches found on a group of other finely painted porcelains that have been attributed to the painter J, Rogers. Rogers is known to have painted at Worcester, as he signed and dated 1759 a cup in the British Museum collection (no. 20). The names of no other painters at the factory during its first decade have been traced, although some employed at Worcester in the 1750s were highly skilled (see the mug no.14). Whether Rogers painted all the pieces decorated with birds, including the vase and cover no. 22 and the vase no. 23, still remains an open question.
The identity of 'TG', who probably presented the mug to Lord Sandys, remains unknown. He no doubt owed a debt of gratitude to Lord and Lady Sandys but whether in connection with the porcelain factory, for a loan or for a favour has not yet been ascertained.
- On display (G46/dc21)
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number