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Culture:English
Title:punch pot
Date Made:ca. 1760
Type:Food Service
Materials:ceramic: white salt-glazed stoneware with overglaze polychrome enamels
Place Made:United Kingdom; England; Staffordshire
Measurements:overall: 7 3/8 x 12 1/4 x 7 1/2 in.; 18.7325 x 31.115 x 19.05 cm
Accession Number:  HD 65.231
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield
1965-231_V1t.jpg

Description:
Punch pots were an invention of the mid-18th century, which followed exactly the form of contemporary Staffordshire teapots. Unlike punch bowls, included in pictures of riotous parties and their attendant paraphernalia, no contemporary illustrations exist of punch pots in use.The main ingredients of punch are spirits, sugar, nutmeg, spices and water. It can be assumed that punch pots were invented as a more refined means of dealing with this hot alcoholic beverage. The invention of the punch pot was surely closely linked with the introduction of red stoneware teapots in Staffordshire about 1750.These teapots, which were favoured by the Chinese for their ability to withstand the flame of a spirit-lamp, were ideal for making punch and keeping it hot. The same characteristics were shared with Staffordshire white salt-glazed stoneware, which in turn could be changed from a utilitarian object to a luxury product by the addition of elaborate enamel decoration. This pot has been decorated by one of the talented but anonymous independent decorators whose idiosyncratic style may be recognized on porcelain and opaque-white glass of the period. English salt-glazed stoneware punch pot or punch kettle or hot-water kettle decorated in pink, blue, yellow, green and red with an elaborately painted chinoiserie landscape scene with twelve figures, including a mother and child, in four settings. The enamelling has been attributed to the so-called "Mekon Painter." This decorator was known for ultra fine, spikey, very assured pen drawing of fantastical Chinese figures with light bulb shaped heads. The free drawing of the Mekon painter was surely the best draughtsmanship among all of the decorators. The fine line enameling was then washes carelessly with translucent enamels. The pot has an inset circular lid with crabstock knop and central vent hole over the globular, wheel-thrown body, both with irregularly outlined areas of trellis diaper patterns in red around the rims; molded crabstock handle and spout; flat base; and six stilt marks on the inside lid. Although Staffordshire white stoneware had been perfected by about 1720, its possibilities for mass-production were not fully exploited until the 1740s. Then the techniques of press-moulding, slip-casting and enamelling were developed, and the drabness of the greyish stoneware surface was successfully relieved by the addition of all-over decoration. Colorfully painted stoneware using enameled decoration was being produced in Staffordshire by the mid 1750. Since these pieces required a second firing to fuse the enamels onto the glazed surface, these wares were more expensive than white stoneware.

Link to share this object record:
https://museums.fivecolleges.edu/detail.php?t=objects&type=ext&id_number=HD+65.231

Research on objects in the collections, including provenance, is ongoing and may be incomplete. If you have additional information or would like to learn more about a particular object, please email fc-museums-web@fivecolleges.edu.

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