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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

 


Culture:Dutch
Title:monteith
Date Made:1700-1710
Type:Food Service
Materials:ceramic: tin-glazed earthenware decorated in cobalt blue
Place Made:The Netherlands; Holland; Delft (probably)
Measurements:overall: 6 3/4 in x 13 1/4 in; 17.145 cm x 33.655 cm
Accession Number:  HD 67.103
Credit Line:Museum Purchase
1967-103T.jpg

Description:
Dutch delft monteith decorated with revelers, fountains, and landscape scenes in blue and with six U-shaped cut-outs around the rim. The base is marked with a blue "2" and other marks, which cannot be attributed to any specific Dutch delft pottery. In the late 17th century, the preference for serving wines cold made it desirable to place glasses in ice water before use. Monteiths, notched basins that allowed footed glasses to hang in chilled water, evolved as receptacles for this purpose. Their first appearance is securely datable from the description of the Oxford diarist, Anthony Wood, who wrote in 1683, “this yeare in the summer time came up a vessel or bason notched at the brims to let drinking glasses hang there by the foot so that the body or drinking place might hang in the water to coole them. Such a basin was called a ‘Monteigh,’ from a fantastical Scot called ‘Monsieur Monteigh,’ who at that time or a little before wore the bottome of his cloake or coate so notched uuuu.” Monsieur Montiegh was probably the Earl of Monteith or Menteith (1661-1694), the nineteenth and last holder of a title created circa 1160. Dr. Samuel Johnson’s "Dictionary" (London, 1775) described a monteith as “A vessel in which glasses are washed.” Monteiths were undoubtedly used for both cooling and rinsing wineglasses, and the.eye-catching monteiths provided a less expensive alternative to fountains, cisterns, or basins, which performed the same function. Early montieths were usually made in silver; .the first recorded English silver monteith dates from 1684, but by the 1730s their production had nearly ceased. However, montieths contined to be made in pewter, glass, earthenware, pewter, tole, Sheffield plate, and porcelain. This monteith is probably Dutch; around 1700, the decorative motif of nude boys or putti dancing near fountains was a common one applied to Dutch vessels for the service of wine. The decoration of elaborate fountains closely relates to three wine Dutch delft cisterns (one marked by Adriaen Kocks of The Greek A Factory in Delft), all depicting water spraying from fountains as drawn lines. The decoration on these Dutch examples is, however, far more sophisticated and finely rendered than the Historic Deerfield example. However, Historic Deerfield’s monteith also bears a resemblance to several attributed English delft pieces with Dutch-style landscape decoration. A punch bowl in the Victoria and Albert Museum collection depicts a standing man and woman within a landscape of fortresses, sponged trees, and bushes. Early delftware scholar F. H. Garner found many fragments in Lambeth showing figures standing in landscapes with sponged trees and bushes, and comparable sherds are known from Southwark and from Brislington. The well is decorated with tall, flowing fountain, surrounded by three dolphins with water spraying from their mouths, in a garden setting with tall, arching trees with sponged foliage; the scene is encircled with a band of 'ju-i' scrolls; and each cutout is framed with scrolling floral sprays. The exterior is decorated with a continuous landscape of tall trees with sponged foliage, which includes three putti around a small water feature; a tall, flowing fountain with dolphins; and a flowing, urn-shaped fountain, which is framed by a woman pointing toward the fountain and a hatted man wearing a long coat with his back to the viewer, with a building with a navigational light with smoking coals in the background.

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