A rare early London (Fulham) stoneware tavern bottle circa 1675
Lot 7
A rare John Dwight, Fulham, stoneware tavern bottle circa 1675
Sold for £19,200 (US$ 32,238) inc. premium
Lot Details
A rare John Dwight, Fulham, stoneware tavern bottle
circa 1675
Of traditional swelling shape with a freckled glaze, the handle with a tapering lower terminal, incised lines around the neck rim, the front applied with a moulded medallion with the sign of 'The Cock' tavern, inscribed around the rim 'W.Morrison . Temple-Bar' 19.8cm high (minor shallow rim chips only)


  • Exhibited: English Ceramics Circle 50th Anniversary Exhibition, 1977, no. 22. An identical bottle is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, see Oswald, Hildyard and Hughes, 1982, p. 29, fig. 2, left. Ale bottles and mugs were the products most in demand at John Dwight's thriving pottery in Fulham. Over a hundred different medallions on early bottles are known, mostly giving the tavern and tavern keepers' names. On 23rd March, 1676 Dwight made an agreement with the Glass-Sellers' Company whereby all the production of 'fine Brown Bottles Juggs and all other sorts of Fine Browne stone wares' were to be made available to the Company'. The only dates found on these wares are 1675 and 1676, suggesting that after the Glass-Sellers' agreement of 1676 no further items were made for direct sale to individuals or tavern keepers. For an overview of Dwight's life and wares, see Mavis Bimson, John Dwight, ECC Trans. Vol. 5, pt. 2, pp. 95-109.

    The 'Cocke' at Temple Bar, Fleet Street, is first recorded in 1598, see Bryant Lillywhite, 'London Signs', p. 114, no. 4900. Further examples of 'Cock Tavern' bottles are also discussed by Bimson, op. cit., p. 104 and for one in the Museum of London, see plate 119b. The tavern appears to have been well-known in Restoration London. Samuel Pepys records in his diaries visiting it on nine occasions. Jonathan Horne, in 'Catalogue of English Brown Stoneware from the 17th and 18th centuries', illustrates a different version of the cock medallion including the initials H.C. for Henry Crosse, one of the other known landlords. He also records that in 1665, the year of the plague in London, an advertisement in the 'Weekly Intelligencer' read: 'Master of the Cock and Bottle commonly called the 'Cock Ale-House' at Temple Bar has dismissed his servants and shut up his house for this long vacation, intending (God willing) to return at Michelmas next'. A seemingly comprehensive review of the subject is given by Dennis Haselgrove, 'The 17th century 'Cock Ale-House' at Temple Bar and Some Fulham Stoneware Bottles', Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society, Vol. 37 (1986), published 1990. Haselgrove gives details about William Morrison, recorded as Henry Crosse's servant and resident deputy at the Cock. Copper plaques engraved 'William Morrison, Temple Bar', presumably trade tokens, are in the British Museum.