A Lowestoft Butter Tub and Stand, circa 1775-80

The form of this rare Lowestoft circular butter tub and stand, with its twin shell handles picked out in blue, is copied directly from Worcester. The Three Flowers pattern as well as the crescent marks both imitate that factory, although Worcester would have always used printed hatched crescent marks in conjunction with a printed pattern, whereas the marks on this Lowestoft example are painted open crescents.

In the 18th century, butter was a difficult product to keep sufficiently fresh and cool in the home without an adequate supply of ice. This butter tub and stand, therefore, gives some hint towards the special status accorded this humble, fleeting foodstuff.

Condition: Very good – no cracks or restoration, just a tiny chip to the edge of the stand which is mostly confined to the underside. It is entirely possible that this occured when the kiln furniture was removed from the stand after firing. No other damage. There is a stilt mark to the upper edge, evidence of the kiln furniture used at Lowestoft to stack wares during firing. The tub has a small firing imperfection at the join of one of the handles with the rim, and there are small patches of staining to the interior. The Lowestoft glaze and paste appears to have been particularly prone to this.

Dimensions: Height of butter tub (to top of handles) 5.7 cm; Diameter of stand 14.6 cm

The Illustrated Guide to Lowestoft Porcelain, Geoffrey A. Godden (Praeger, 1969).

Lowestoft Porcelain in Norwich Castle Museum, Volume 1, Sheenah Smith (Norfolk Museums Service, 1975).

Godden’s Guide to Blue and White Porcelain, Geoffrey A. Godden (Antique Collectors’ Club, 2004).