jugs-pitchrs-lnks - 12/26/05
A set of web links to information on medieval and Renaissance Jugs and Pitchers by Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon.
This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.
This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org
I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.
The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.
Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).
Mark S. Harris AKA: THLord Stefan li Rous
Stefan at florilegium.org
From: liontamr at ptd.net
Subject: Links: Medieval and Renaissance Jugs and Pitchers
Date: May 10, 2004 4:09:15 PM CDT
To: StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Greetings Gentle Readers!
When you sit down to table at feast, what's on your table? Many of us try
very hard to have medieval-style mugs, plates, and even historical-style
silverware (so to speak) at hand. Candles and lanterns make a lovely
atmosphere. However, when the drink is served, what is that drinks container
made of? How is it shaped? What is it's color? From what period of history
does it hail? Too often, this is where we really fall down on the
re-creation job. Not all containers are made the same, and most modern
shapes aren't quite right.
The subject of this week's Links List is Medieval Jugs, Pitchers, and the
like. With luck, this Links List will inspire you to go out and find a more
historical container (or one that resembles a more historical container) for
your table and for your group's serving purposes. Many historical jugs were
not only meant for pouring but also for drinking. Of course, what that container
actually contains is not the subject of THIS Links List, but could easily
pop up in future lists....
As always, please send this Links List along to anyone who would find it
interesting (I especially like the Face Jugs and Puzzle Jugs, myself), and
use it to update your own web pages.
Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon
modernly known as Lisbeth Herr-Gelatt
German Medieval Face Jug (photos, description)
Freeblown Roman Glass Bottle circa. 200 AD (photos, description)
European Bellarmine Stoneware Jug circa. 1650
Spoilheap Archaeology: What can we learn from broken pottery?
There is a large amount of archaeological evidence for the pottery industry
from the Middle Saxon period onwards, in the form of products and production
sites. The main requirements of the industry were: raw materials: large
supply of clay and sand, some water, and fuel (wood), a well drained working
area with easy access to roads or water transport. This means that
production sites were generally situated on clay subsoils near woodland in
Bartmann Jug, c. 1600
(Site Excerpt) Made in Frechen, Germany, saltglazed stoneware vessels such
as this jug were produced and exported in great quantities to fulfill
England's stoneware needs. England succeeded in establishing her own
stoneware industry in the 1680s. The jugs are known as Bartmann or "bearded
man" for the bewhiskered face that adorns the neck.
The Bearded Man Bottle of Skriduklaustur
(Site Excerpt) "This type of pottery comes mainly from potters in Germany,
and then primarily from Raeren near Aix-la-Chapelle, Frechen and Siegburg
near Cologne, Hšhr and Grenshausen near Coblenz, and Creussen in Bavaria. In
the beginning of the 16th century potters in these towns made the face jugs
with brown salt glaze. As well at that time, the faces took a decided change
to show the wrinkled face of a bearded man who is good-natured when the jug
is upright, and beetlebrowed and grimacing evilly with hair standing on end
when the jug is turned upside-down." (Note: The author of this page said, in
a private e-mail, "Due to the finding of that jug and some test
excavations, the old monastery area at Skriduklaustur has had an
archeological dig going on for two summers now, and will head into its
third summer this July."
Shaft-and-Globe Utility Glass Bottle c.1630-50
Stefan's Florilegium -- Medieval Pottery and Kilns
(Site Excerpt) One of them is marvelous--it's a period Italian potters'
It's very detailed, so it's perfect for majolica info. A friend of mine
found out about it and got it through ILL. Once I find them again--it may
That would be "Tre Libri dell'Arte del Vasaio (The Three Books of the
Potter's Art)" by Cipriano Piccolpasso? Cool stuff! I've got a copy of
the Scholar Press (ISBN 0 85967 452 5) facsimile set. One of the
translators, Alan Caiger-Smith, has another couple of books out that you
should find really interesting, if you haven't already seen them- "Tin
Glazed Pottery", Faber & Faber Ltd, London, 1973, and one on lustre
Two Medieval London-type jugs from Longmarket
(Site Excerpt) Two of the most significant medieval pots found on the
Longmarket site are the subject of this note. Both are of considerable
interest and beauty and although broken they are remarkable for their state
of completeness and preservation. The reason for their excellent condition
is that both vessels were thrown to the bottom of two separate cess-pits or
latrines where they lay undisturbed for the next seven centuries.
Early 14th Century Balluster Jug (Acrobat Reader required)
Medieval Jug Construction
A How-to site with basic information. Click on one of the photos to go to
the article indicated. See espescially the bibliography page at:
Medieval pottery jug from Cardiff
Photo of remarkable jug and brief commentary.
Medieval and Renaissance Eating Utensils and "Feast Gear"
An excellent article---too good to quote just one piece here, but please do
read it and click on all the links to extant examples. Much information
about all types of feast gear including jugs and bottles.
2000 years of pottery forms and shapes
Early Saxon AD 350 - 650 : Sandy ware bottle
This page from Potweb contains a photo and brief description. See also the
Stamfordware spouted pitcher:
examples on the website.
Paris: Glazed Ceramic Jug (site is in French)
Discovering Dante's Damsel in Distress
Rossella Lorenzi, Discovery News
(Site Excerpt) Dec. 1, 2003 - A 14th century jug unearthed in a Tuscan
castle might shed new light on one of the most touching and mysterious
female figures in Dante's Divine Comedy, according to Italian
archaeologists.Legend has always linked Castel di Pietra, a castle near the
village of Gavorrano in the Tuscan Maremma, with the sad fate of Pia dei
Tolomei, a lady supposedly imprisoned there and then murdered by her jealous
Gaston Phoebus: Hunters pausing
Click on the photo to enlarge. Note the use of Costrels (ceramic canteens,
which are rarely found extant, archaeologically speaking---go to potweb
(linked above) to find a rare example of a medieval costrel).
A series of drinking jugs of Raeren stoneware
(Site Excerpt) At the end of the 15th century the manner in which food and
drink were served at table in Exeter households, as in much of England,
underwent great changes. An element in these changes was the adoption of
individual drinking pots, replacing the medieval practices of communal
drinking and the use of wooden cups. Much of the new demand for drinking
pots was supplied by the importation of salt-glazed stonewares from Belgium
and the Rhineland. The most important source of such wares throughout
England was the potting town of Raeren in eastern Belgium.
A stoneware jug from Siegburg
(Site Excerpt) With its hard off-white fabric and patches of ash glaze, the
vessel is one of the few complete examples of the late medieval stoneware
made at Siegburg in the central Rhineland ever found in Britain. It is
datable to the late 15th century or the beginning of the 16th.
The Exeter Puzzle Jug - Interactive Spin
(Site Excerpt) Made in the Saintonge, western France, c. 1300, this is among
the most celebrated examples of medieval pottery found in Britain. It was
discovered in fragments in South Street, Exeter, in 1899. The jug shows a
tower in which are two bishops (with croziers); young ladies disport
themselves from its windows and musicians play below. The scene points fun
at the morals of the medieval clergy. (Note: and interactive section is slow
to load but will show the jug at various angles. The "Puzzle" is to figure
out how to drink from it---since it's sides are pierced...Several medieval
puzzle jugs exist. Another is located at the potweb site:
Medieval Pottery Links:
Nearly 100 links to medieval pottery web-pages are provided on this page.
(Site Excerpt) JUG, a vessel for holding liquid, usually with one handle and
a lip, made of earthenware, glass or metal. The origin of the word in this
sense is uncertain, but it is probably identical with a shortened form of
the feminine name Joan or Joanna; cf. the similar use of Jack and Jill or
Gill for a drinking-vessel or a liquor measure. It has also been used as a
common expression for a homely woman, a servant-girl, a sweetheart,
sometimes in a sense of disparagement. In slang, jug or stone-jug is used to
denote a prison; this may possibly be an adaptation of Fr. joug, yoke,
Lat.jugum. The word jugis probably onomatopoeic when used to represent a
particular note of the nightingales song, or applied locally to various
small birds, as the hedge-jug, &c.
French pottery in medieval Wales By Dr Mark Redknap, National Museums &
Galleries of Wales Published: 8 March 2004
(Site Excerpt) Elegant forms and decoration are distinctive features of
pottery imported from south-west France in the wake of Edward I's armies.
Thanks to the careful restoration of broken vessels we can enjoy this
beautiful tableware today.
Museum of London: Medieval Jug
A Vessel for everyman and his family
(Site Excerpt) Ceramic forms can be classified according to shape or
profile. There is considerable variety in size and height and therefore in
capacity. The site of the New Bodleian, Oxford included tall, closed vessels
where the diameter of both the opening and the maximum girth are smaller
than the overall height; these are defined as jugs for serving and standing
In Their Cups - The Story of the English Puzzle Mug
by Delia Robinson (Ceramics Today)
Unless held to the mouth in exactly the right way, a Puzzle Mug would spill
beer down the drinkers shirt. This was a big hit with the tavern crowd. The
mugs were designed with multiple dribble holes and tunnels inside the handle
and cup rim, the handle or walls connected to a drinking spout at the lip of
the cup. This would allow the drinker to suck up his beverage, providing his
fingers covered the right combination of false drinking spouts also placed
around the cup lip. If he attempted drinking from the cup in the customary
fashion, the beverage would pour out through perforations carved just under
the lip. As the evening progressed into a rowdy uproar, finding the safe
spot from which to drink would become increasingly chancy, providing
merriment for all.
vessels and their historical names:
a.. Piggin-from the middle ages, a small leather cup
a.. Noggin-small wooden mug around 1/4 pint
a.. Goddard-pewter vessel used by the church
a.. Bombard-tall, holding several gallons, richly decorated
a.. Hanap-a tall, ornate largely ornamental vessel, eventually only used on
special occasions and stored in a hanaps basket, hence a hamper
a.. Tappit-Hen or Stirrup Cup-A tankard with a cup shaped lid originating in
Scotland, used to send off guests late at night with a final brew, the lid
keeping the brew safe when the guests departed on horseback.
a.. Fuddling cup-vessel with three or more small cups with interlinked
handles and joined through a small hole in the walls, the idea was to drink
from one cup without spilling the contents of the others.
a.. Whistle cup-From the Middle ages, whoever could drink the most for the
longest got to blow the whistle as the 'last man standing' to order more
a.. Puzzle jug-Jug with many holes around the neck which have to be closed
with fingers and thumbs to make sure you can drink from the top.
a.. Yard glass-traditionally a quart measure from the mid 1600's with a bulb
at one end which had to be drunk without taking it from ones lips
........(note: there's more, but we've run out of room to list them all :)