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Lord Brougham flask: C.1214-1928

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Lord Brougham flask


Pottery: Doulton & Watts




Press-moulded stoneware flask with impressed decoration, painted in brown slip and salt-glazed.

Grey stoneware flask with a round opening at the top, which previously held a cork. The upper part is moulded in the form of the head, shoulders and arms of Lord Brougham, in wig and bands, and partly dipped in dark brown slip. His hands hold a scroll on which is impressed ‘THE True Spirit of REFORM’. A further impression, below, reads ‘BROUGHAM’s Reform CORDIAL’. The back of the flask is stamped ‘Lambeth Pottery DOULTON & WATTS 15 High Street Lambeth’. The ellipse-shaped underside is flat and lightly glazed.


History note: Bought by Dr Glaisher, Trinity College, Cambridge, from Mr Addison ‘who generally attended to work in my room’, for 10/-(ten shillings), in 1908.

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L.Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Depth: 6.3 cm
Depth: 2.5 in
Height: 18.4 cm
Height: 7.25 in
Width: 9 cm
Width: 3.5 in

Place(s) associated

  • Lambeth ⪼ Middlesex ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

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


19th Century, Early#
William IV
Production date: circa AD 1832


Doulton, founded c.1815 by John Doulton and trading as Doulton & Watts c.1820-1853, originally made utility ceramics, as well as stoneware jugs and ornamental bottles. Later, in the mid-1860s, Henry Doulton introduced decorative stoneware and architectural terracotta, producing both unique, artist-signed, and limited edition pieces. From 1872 the business expanded into faience and in the 1880s opened a factory at Burslem, Staffordshire, where bone china and other wares were made. In 1901, Edward VII granted the Royal warrant to the factory. Stoneware production at Lambeth reduced after 1914, and ceased in 1956

From 1820 to c.1856, Doulton and Watts produced thousands of commemorative ‘reform bottles’ depicting reformist politicians and royalty, employing 20 men to make them. The modellers may have been shared, as several other Lambeth potters made similar designs. The bottles were probably made to hold spirits, notably gin (available at one shilling (5p) per pint in the 1830s); ‘cordial’ then being a term for alcoholic drink.. Henry Brougham (1778-1868), as Lord Chancellor, led the House of Lords to pass the 1832 Reform Act, which extended voting rights to some two million of the urban middle classes and abolished rotten boroughs. He was one of the most popular reform bottle subjects, and nearly 20 variations are recorded, in sizes ranging from 5 ½ to 14 inches.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of slip

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Press-moulding : Press-moulded stoneware with impressed decoration, painted and salt-glazed

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: on scroll

  • Text: THE True Spirit of REFORM
  • Location: On front
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Caption

Inscription present: on lower front

  • Text: BROUGHAM’s Reform CORDIAL
  • Location: On front
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Caption

Inscription present: makers' mark

  • Text: Lambeth Pottery DOULTON & WATTS 15 High Street Lambeth
  • Location: On lower back
  • Method of creation: Stamped
  • Type: Mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1214-1928
Primary reference Number: 71571
Old object number: 2763
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 18 December 2023 Last processed: Monday 18 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Lord Brougham flask" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-02-21 23:14:03

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