• Frechen stoneware jug

A Frechen salt-glazed stoneware Jug, circa 1550-1600

Made in Frechen, just outside Cologne in the Rhine valley, this delightfully tactile salt-glazed jug is of a globular shape, with a cylindrical neck and applied strap handle. There is a decorative groove below the rim and a horizontal ridge or cordon at the neck/body junction. The glaze is of a rich, warm brown, firing to a speckled ‘tiger’ effect in places. The underside of the base shows the thrower’s wire-marks as the clay jug was removed from the potting wheel.

Condition: Good – no cracks or restoration, just a few small chips and fritting to part of the foot rim. From manufacture, the jug has a slight lean from sagging in the kiln. There is a firing touch mark to the glaze and also a flattened depression from where the jug was handled when it was still in its unfired clay state. There are expected impurities and minor anomalies to the glaze, such as small pieces of grit and glaze crawl. It feels wonderful to hold the jug in one’s hand!

Dimensions: Height 14 cm

Refs. Frechen salt-glazed stoneware jugs such as this were appreciated by artists and often appear in still-life paintings from the Dutch Golden Age, for example Still Life with Beer-pitcher and Orange (attributed to Willem Claesz. Heda, 1633). They were also clearly prized by wealthy Tudor and Stuart owners, as they would occasionally be fitted with dated silver and silver-gilt mounts. The British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum both house examples of mounted stoneware jugs of this type (e.g. AF.3139 and 2120-1855, respectively).