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Jug: C.1225-1928

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)




Pottery: Martin Brothers




Salt-glazed stoneware jug with tool-marked and modelled surface.

Thrown stoneware jug with bulbous body, short bottle neck and small loop handle, covered with mud-brown slip and salt-glazed. The body, which leans backwards, is decorated under the slip with horizontal scoring punctuated by small raised points in the clay, which gives the jug has a gourd-like appearance. The neck has a projecting ring, above which it is scored to suggest a screw thread. The glaze is very light, giving a matt finish. The underside is concave, speckled in brown and unglazed,


History note: Purchased at Sotheby's sale, 'Extensive collection of Martin ware; old English furniture : the whole remaining stock of finished pieces of the Martin factory, the property of R.W. Martin Esq. (deceased), 24 October 1924, lot 33, by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, Trinity College, Cambridge, who paid £1 – 5 shillings for the lot, which comprised four bottles.

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Depth: 14 cm
Depth: 5.5 cm
Height: 18.1 cm
Height: 7 in
Width: 14 cm
Width: 5.5 cm

Relative size of this object

14 cm7 cm14 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Place(s) associated

  • Southall ⪼ Middlesex ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

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


Late 19th Century
Production date: dated AD 1895


Brown salt-glazed stoneware with incised lines and ‘breadcrumb’ decoration (ground up fired clay).

Robert Wallace Martin (1843-24) and his brothers Walter (1857-1912) and Edwin (1860-1915) were amongst the first ‘artist-potters’ of the late nineteenth century. They designed, made and decorated their own ornamental salt-glazed stoneware, originally using facilities at C.J.C.Bailey’s Fulham Pottery and, briefly, at Shepherd’s Bush. In 1877, they opened their own pottery at Southall, Middlesex, and by 1882 were producing some 5,000 pieces a year. Wallace had originally trained as a sculptor, exhibiting his work at the Royal Academy and elsewhere from c.1863. His younger brothers had learned their skills at Doulton’s, Walter as a thrower and chemist, Edwin as a decorator. Modelled work is generally attributed to Wallace, but otherwise it is thought that the three learned from each other, exchanging skills and sharing roles. A fourth brother, Charles (1846-1910), sold the products – known as ‘Martin-ware’ – from a shop at Brownlow Street, London.

This gourd-like jug is one of a number of examples of Martin Brothers’ work made to suggest a natural, growing object. Rather than decorating the pot with a naturalistic design, the potter has given the pot itself a naturalistic form, and used muted brown slip and a matt glaze to emphasise it. At the same time, the round shape, narrow scored neck and brown colour convey the idea of an old leather bottle.

School or Style

Art Pottery

People, subjects and objects depicted

Materials used in production

mud-brown colour Slip

Techniques used in production

Throwing : Thrown stoneware jug with applied modelled handle, decorated with horizontal scoring punctuated by small raised points in the clay, covered with mud-brown slip and salt-glazed.

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: with a line insised under the words; inscription partially obscured by specks of brown slip

  • Text: Martin Bros. London & Southall 12-1895
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Incised in script
  • Type: Mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1225-1928
Primary reference Number: 71622
Old object number: 4457
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 24 February 2021 Last processed: Tuesday 14 February 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 (2023) "Jug" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-06-05 08:07:25

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