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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:English
Title:mug
Date Made:1700-1725
Type:Food Service
Materials:ceramic: salt-glazed stoneware, iron slip; silver
Place Made:United Kingdom; England; Fulham
Measurements:overall: 5 1/2 x 3 1/2 in.; 13.97 cm
Accession Number:  HD 94.016.4
Credit Line:Exchange - the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
1994-16-4t.jpg

Description:
English salt-glazed stoneware mug with the excise or capacity mark - a crown over "WR" - counter sunk in oval to left of upper terminal of handle, and a silver scalloped rim, which was probably added later. According to Jonathan Horne, it became illegal to sell ale, etc., in a vessel - be it wood, earthenware, glass, horn, metal or leather - without the appropriate quart or pint excise mark by Sept. 1700. The Commission of Excise set the original standards, which local authorities and magistrates then had to enforce. Mugs intended for the domestic market and not for retailing liquor did not need to be stamped. The original cypher, crown/"WR" (William III, 1662-1694) remained the official mark until 1825 when imperial measures became standard; the latest published dated example is 1792 with the initials "INH". Marking ceramics required that the piece had to be stamped before firing, which meant that potters had their own individual excise stamp. When Queen Anne (1665-1714) succeeded William III in 1702, most potters illegally changed their mark to "AR"; and when George I succeeded in 1714, it seems that local authorities varied their enforcement of the law. It appears that London potters returned to the "WR" mark; Bristol potters introduced a "GR" mark; and Staffordshire and Nottingham factories discontinued all marks. Stoneware tankards of this type made in Fulham, England and Yorktown, Virginia. have been excavated on many Williamsburg sites. The cylindrical mug has incised lines around the top and base and strap handle. The top half has been dipped in brown slip.

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