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Small Reform Mug: C.1145-1928

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Small Reform Mug


Factory: Chetham & Robinson (Probably)
Chesworth & Robinson
Engraver: Kennedy, James (Probably)




White earthenware, coated with pink lustre and transfer-printed in black with text and images, and edged with copper-pink lustre.

Small mug. Wide, straight-sided cylinder with a 'rope' edging round the rim and base, and an applied angular handle. Decorated with two transfer images, each with text, on the outside; two shamrock, thistle and rose transfers on the inside; and a stylized floral pattern on the outside of the handle. The outside is washed with pink lustre and the top and bottom rimmed with a brighter copper-pink lustre. The underside is flat and glazed, and slightly recessed to form a foot-rim.

The images and text are as follows:
(i) to the left of the handle: a bust of Lord Grey wearing Peer’s robes, signed ‘Kennedy’
(ii) to the right of the handle: a wreath of shamrock, rose and thistle, enclosing the word ‘REFORM’


History note: Bought from Mr Reed at Saffron Walden on 18 February 1905, for 3/- (three shillings), by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest, 1928

Measurements and weight

Height: 8.2 cm
Width: 10.8 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Longton ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England
  • Burslem ⪼ Staffordshire

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1928) by Glaisher, J. W. L., Dr


William IV
Production date: circa AD 1832


Small salt-glazed stoneware flasks made in the shape of leading Reform Act figures, known as 'Reform bottles', were also produced at this time. Doulton & Watts at Lambeth produced thousands between 1820 to c.1856.

The 1832 Representation of the People Act, commonly known as the 1832 Reform Act, was passed just a few months after the Coronation of King William IV. The Act extended voting rights to some two million of the urban middle classes and abolished rotten boroughs. It was proposed for the Whigs by the Prime Minister, Charles Grey (2nd Earl Grey, 1764-1845). Henry Brougham (Baron Brougham and Vaux, 1778-1868), as Lord Chancellor, led in the House of Lords. Images of all three are found on ‘Reform’ commemorative ware.

This is one of three similar pink lustre mugs in the Fitzwilliam Collection, the other two are larger. They have the same shape, similar decoration including the inscription ‘REFORM’, and the same mark, which is probably that of Chetham & Robinson, although a ‘C&R’mark was also used by a neighbouring pottery, Chesworth & Robinson. Staffordshire potters were the first, and remained the largest , producers of lustreware, though it was also made in other regions, and is often associated with Sunderland. The engraved images on all three mugs are by ‘Kennedy’, probably James Kennedy of Burslem who made engravings and copper plates for factories as far afield as the Herculaneum Pottery in Liverpool.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of lustre clear glaze

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Throwing : White earthenware, glazed, coated with pink lustre, transfer-printed and edged with copper-pink lustre.

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: letters in flamboyant script,

  • Text: ‘C & R’ , in octofoil
  • Location: Undersie of base
  • Method of creation: Printed
  • Type: Factory mark
  • Text: Kennedy
  • Location: Under the image of Grey, bottom right,
  • Method of creation: Printed as part of the engraving
  • Type: Mark

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1145-1928
Primary reference Number: 71411
Old object number: 2279
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 9 September 2021 Last processed: Monday 18 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Small Reform Mug" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-25 01:27:58

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