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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst


Date Made:ca. 1710
Type:Food Processing; Container; Medical; Toilet Article
Materials:ceramic: tin-glazed earthenware decorated in cobalt blue, iron red, and green
Place Made:United Kingdom; England; London
Measurements:overall: 6 x 5 1/4 in.; 15.24 x 13.335 cm
Accession Number:  HD 66.031

English delft jar with a double-domed cover and two twisted handles, decorated in blue, green, and red. This covered jar shares characteristics with a group of similarly shaped vessels, all of which have bulbous bodies and covers, undercut, tapering bases, and twisted horizontal handles. The covers on this group have a double rim, an unusual design feature that sealed the contents tightly and securely suggesting that they were probably used for storage, but there is no documentation that these jars held any specific substance nro evidence of their normal contents. It appears that the handles could be used to attach string to hold the double-rimed cover tightly in place to keep the contents fresh. These jars could have stored a variety of materials such as food, medicinal remedies, spices, or wig powder. For example, Frank Britton believes that since delftware jars were mostly too decorative for purely utilitarian use, they were probably used for pot-pourri or on the tea table; Michael Archer suggests root ginger; and John Austin and Leslie Grigsby, a range from spices to wig powder used at the dressing table. Inspired by Asian porcelains of the late 17th century, both the cover and jar are decorated with the same two panels of blue foliage sprays with green scroll and red highlights, and a blue band of Chinese scroll pattern or w's below the panels on the lid. The jar has a bird looking forward with a blue head and back, green wings, and red breast below each handle between the floral panels, over a band of alternating red and blue stiff leaf decoration around the base. The lid has a raised, round knop which reflects period knops, which was made to replace an earlier repair (see file); the jar has a shoulder where the handles are attached, over a globular body tapering into a cylindrical bottom section and a small cylindrical foot ring. According to Jonathan Horne, 1/23/95, shards of these types of pots can be seen in Frank Britton's book, London Delftware. This object is unusual in that it retains its lid; most are lost. Vessels of thistype were produced during the first half of the 18th century and may have formed part of the equipage for a dressing table or been employed as tea- or spice-holders.

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