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Hunting Mug: C.1200-1928

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Hunting Mug


Pottery: Lambeth High Street Pottery (Possibly)




Salt-glazed stone-ware covered in slips with hunting reliefs and inscriptions.

Buff-coloured stone-ware, covered with brown and grey slips, decorated with sprigged hunting reliefs and salt-glazed. The cylindrical mug has a reeded-loop handle. The top half of the mug is covered in brown slip and the bottom half in grey. On the upper part of the mug, there is a rectangular relief plaque of a mounted huntsman and his dogs pursuing a stag; the relief is flanked on either side by three trees. On the lower part, there is a fox hunting scene, which runs clockwise round the mug and features one mounted huntsman and one on foot, four couple of hounds and the pursued fox. Incised above the stag-hunting plaque is the name ‘Robert Petch’ and below it the words ‘at Hermit-whate Danby Dale’.


History note: Provenance unknown before bought in Conway in Wales for Mr G.A. Smith of St Ives, Huntingdonshire; Smith sold it for £2.10.0 on 26 September 1905 to Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 20.9 cm
Width: 20 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Vauxhall ⪼ London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1928-12-07) by Glaisher, J. W. L., Dr


18th Century, second quarter#
George II
Production date: AD 1736


Brown stoneware hunting mugs were produced by a number of English potters in the 18th-century. They were the products of a time in which hunting and drinking were, as contemporary hunting ballads attest, strongly connected and viewed as great pleasures in life. Hare-hunting was the most common form of hunting at this time but fox-hunting, which is depicted on this mug, was becoming increasingly fashionable. It has been suggested that woodcut illustrations for popular hunting ballads inspired the decoration of the mugs.

Surviving examples of hunting mugs have been divided into four types, labelled A to D. This mug belongs to the ‘Type C’ group with a clockwise hunt. Hunting mugs are thought to have been made by potteries in London and in Bristol. Traditionally, ‘Type C’ mugs were attributed to Bristol but the names and places inscribed on this mug suggest that a London origin is more probable. ‘Danby Dale’ is in North Yorkshire and ‘Hermit whate’ probably refers to Armattwhate, a village in the region. Robert Petch, the man named on the mug, was a landowner in the area. Petch's family papers demonstrate he also owned land in Henley-on-Thames. Long-distance communication was difficult in the 18th-century and therefore it is more likely Petch commissioned the mug from a London pottery than from a Bristol one as London was closer to Henley. W. W. Hamilton Foyn has argued that ‘Type C’ mugs were the product of the Lambeth High Street pottery in Vauxhall.

Components of the work

Base Diameter 14.6 cm

Materials used in production

brown on top half, grey on bottom half Slip
buff Stoneware

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: Robert Petch
  • Location: Above applied stag-hunting relief plaque
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Inscription
  • Text: at Hermit-whate Danby dale/1736
  • Location: Below applied stag-hunting relief plaque
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Inscription

Inscription present: stick-on rectangular white paper collector’s label with blueline border and trefoils in top corners

  • Text: name and/date 1736./Bought at St Ives/(Hunts) Sept 26, 1905./Came from Conway.
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Handwritten in black ink
  • Type: Label

Inscription present: circular, stick-on white paper label

  • Text: "83"
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Handwritten in black ink
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1200-1928
Primary reference Number: 71543
Old catalogue number: 2324
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Hunting Mug" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-18 16:21:48

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