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Small flask: C.16-2018

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Small flask


Maker: Hayes, Peter




Hand-built clay, slip coated, decorated with incised pattern, burnished and fired.

Small but tall hollow flask with narrow elliptical base, rising with straight sides and flattened at the top to a wide horizontal-line shoulder supporting a small central neck with open rim. Surface coated with red-brown slip incised with an abstract texture like wood that has begun to split with age. Burnished to a shiny finish which the firing process has shaded from mid to dark. Designed to stand upright.


History note: Bequeathed by Philomena Guillebaud, Cambridge, with Art Fund support

Legal notes

Bequeathed by Philomena Guillebaud, Cambridge, with Art Fund support

Measurements and weight

Depth: 5.5 cm
Height: 19.5 cm
Width: 10.5 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Bath ⪼ Avon ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (2018-11-19) by Guillebaud, Philomena


20th Century, third quarter#
Production date: AD 1994 : marked


Peter Hayes (b. 1946) studied at Birmingham College of Art before working and travelling in Africa from 1972-82. He has international reputation for large scale ceramic forms placed in open landscape and in the built environment, from cruise liners to government buildings.

This is one of two red burnished forms in the collection, one large and the other the size of a hand-held flask, which draw on ceramics made by the Basotho people in Lesotho. Their polished red and orange pots are created with basic tools, decorated with finely ground red slip; the leather-hard surface is burnished with pebbles from the river bank before using cow dung for firing at 600o. Hayes has adapted this process, burnishing over textured surfaces, firing at around 1060o in a gas-fired kiln where the flame is allowed to lick around the pots, giving them their dark, red burnished appearance reminiscent of ageing wood.

School or Style


Components of the work


Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hand-building : Clay, hand-built, slip coated, incised, burnished and fired.
Firing (heating)

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: Peter Hayes 94
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Type: Mark

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.16-2018
Primary reference Number: 225729
Entry form number: 1450
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Tuesday 27 November 2018 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Thursday 7 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Small flask" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-14 19:55:26

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