A very rare and unrecorded London delftware puzzle jug, Pickleherring Quay Pottery, Southwark, circa 1650

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Lot 57
A very rare and unrecorded London delftware puzzle jug, Pickleherring Quay Pottery, Southwark, circa 1650

Sold for £ 19,000 (US$ 26,190) inc. premium
A very rare and unrecorded London delftware puzzle jug, Pickleherring Quay Pottery, Southwark, circa 1650
Of globular form with a spreading foot, the narrow swelling neck pierced with geometric motifs, the hollow rim applied with three nozzles and a hollow strap handle, painted in blue with an almost continuous landscape depicting distinctive striped hills densely populated with a variety of curious houses and spired buildings amongst bushy trees, twin-masted ships between the buildings to each side, initialled 'P T.A' above, all within a series of concentric bands, 18.2cm high

Footnotes

  • Delftware puzzle jugs of this early date are incredibly rare. A jug of similar form dated 1653 is illustrated by Lipski and Archer, Dated English Delftware (1984), p.229, fig.1009. A few slightly later examples of this shape survive from the last quarter of the 17th century, including a jug from the Glaisher Collection in the Fitzwilliam Museum (acc. no. C.2862-1928).

    Michael Archer first suggested that a small number of dishes, jugs and caudle cups form a distinctive group attributable to a single maker in his Rijksmuseum exhibition catalogue in 1973. Lionel Burman took up this idea in two papers read to the English Ceramic Circle, see ECC Trans, Vol.14, Pt.3 (1992) and Vol.15, Pt.1 (1993). Burman discussed three dishes bearing the initials 'R.E.N', identified as Richard Newnham and his wife Elizabeth. Significantly, Newnham was proprietor of the Pickleherring Pottery in Southwark. In his Victoria and Albert Museum catalogue of Delftware (1997), pp.104-5, Michael Archer expanded on his research and discussed characteristics that link the landscape painting found on pieces belonging to this group.

    The ships and distinctive buildings seen on the present lot are closely related to those found in the border panels of a moulded dish bearing the arms of Markham impaling Faringe, sold by Bonhams on 10 December 2008, lot 14 and another in Brighton Museum bearing the arms of the Worshipful Company of Parish Clerks, illustrated in Archer's Rijksmuseum catalogue (1973), no.26. A further armorial dish with panels of related buildings is in the Glaisher Collection (acc. no. C.1309-1928). This style of painting ultimately derives from Dutch 'maiolica' of circa 1620-40. The London delftware painters were clearly influenced by Dutch Delft and they chose to include typically Dutch ships in their landscapes. Burman discusses these ships in his ECC papers, identifying the vessels seen on the Markham dish as a Dutch long-distance cargo vessel known as a 'Fluit' or 'Flute'. He suggests that these may have been intended as symbols of commercial success and fortune.

    Five boats of a different type, identified by Burman as a Dutch 'Buss', occur on the border of an English delftware plate dated 1649 in the Glaisher Collection (acc. no. C.1308-1928) illustrated by Lipski and Archer, p.130, fig.127. The style of painting on this 1649 plate is very close to the landscape on the present lot, featuring a building in the centre, similar trees and a distinctive curved picket fence. These recurring features can be noted on other delftware almost certainly made at the Pickleherring Pottery. A posset pot dated 1651 with related buildings, ships and similar trees is also illustrated by Lipski and Archer (1984), p.201, fig.891. A caudle cup in the British Museum inscribed 'EDWARD:SEARLE:AND:ELIZABETH 1650' (acc. no. 1952,0402.1) bears a continuous landscape with buildings, ships and similar trees. Perhaps the most impressive piece belonging to this group is the large jug in the Glaisher Collection (acc. no. C.1311-1928) illustrated by Lipski and Archer (1984), p.219, fig.969. This bears the arms of the Apothecaries Society and is dated 'E.V 1650'. The British Museum caudle cup, the Apothecaries Society jug and the puzzle jug in the present lot are all painted with virtually identical buildings on striped mounds with similar trees and picket fences flanked by ships.
Contacts
A very rare and unrecorded London delftware puzzle jug, Pickleherring Quay Pottery, Southwark, circa 1650
A very rare and unrecorded London delftware puzzle jug, Pickleherring Quay Pottery, Southwark, circa 1650
A very rare and unrecorded London delftware puzzle jug, Pickleherring Quay Pottery, Southwark, circa 1650
A very rare and unrecorded London delftware puzzle jug, Pickleherring Quay Pottery, Southwark, circa 1650
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