CHINOISERIE JUG. ANOTHER ENIGMA
From a Correspondent
I have been trying to trace the history of and an attribution for this distinctive jug for almost two years now. It has been seen by some very experienced blue and white enthusiasts and has ‘rung no bells’ with any of them. In particular, because of possible tenuous links, I have sent details to Swansea and Spode experts, again to no avail.
Its shape looks familiar but I cannot match it exactly to any reference. It stands 160mm to the top of the handle and 170mm from the back of the handle to the front of the spout. The exterior diameter of the base is 80mm. The consensus is that it dates to c1805. It has two underglaze blue dashes to the base about 7.5mm apart, and only one of presumably three 3-point stilt marks is detectable to the base.
The jug has an ochre rim and a 15mm deep border inside which seems identical to that found with Forest Landscape pattern. This border is copied along the back of the handle. The wide outside border around the rim, 40mm deep, is similar to that seen particularly with Long Bridge. I have not seen another wide version but narrower versions are found on Swansea, Gresley, Dunderdale, Leeds, Spode and Cambrian. Most distinctive may be the moulded lower terminal to the flat handle, best described as a bunch of grapes. (See illustration below). This feature, plus the overall quality of the potting, point to the jug not having been a cheap option in its day. Whoever made it must have produced a fair number, if only for basic economic reasons. If anyone can point towards any others, I should be very obliged. My thanks to all have provided opinions, suggestions and encouragement so far.
Editor’s Note: I have two examples of the wide border alluded to above, both on unmarked examples of Long Bridge. One piece is a footed bowl 185mm in diameter and 70mm high, the other an octagonal oblong dish 278mm long, 230mm wide and 65mm deep. Both pieces have overglaze ochre rims and are exceptionally well potted. My feeling is that they ought to be Swansea, but as neither has figures in the window of the pavilion on the left hand side of the pattern, a sign of Leeds or somewhere else perhaps rather than Swansea, I am reluctant to go further than that. Both pieces were purchased together and, whoever made them, they probably came from the same manufacturer. The oblong dish has three point stilt marks and the bowl was supported on its footrim in the kiln. While it is well known that Swansea and Herculaneum used the over-painted ochre rim, others did as well. I have a number of unattributed pieces carrying the ochre rim. It would be good to have an overall picture of such pieces. If you have any, please let the Editor know.