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Dish with shells and foliage, a snake, two frogs and two lizards: C.1399-1928

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Dish with shells and foliage, a snake, two frogs and two lizards


Pottery: Pickleherring Pottery (Probably)


  • Dish
  • oval dish
  • 'Rustic' dish



Earthenware, press-moulded, tin-glazed, and painted in blue, green, yellow, and brown in imitation of a Palissy style 'rustic' dish.

Buff earthenware, press-moulded, with applied relief motifs tin-glazed, and painted in blue, green, yellow, and brown. Oval, with narrow rim, and curved sides, decorated in relief with plants, snail shells, two frogs, two lizards and a snake in the middle. On the reverse, painted in blue, the initials and date I/E : A/1638, with an elaborate loopy flourish below.


History note: An unidentified owner, described as 'local' from whom purchased for £18 by Mr H. Ernest Hyde, 48 Warstone Lane, Birmingham. Glaisher saw the dish for the first time when he visited Hyde in Birmingham on 7 April 1924. Hyde sold his collection to the dealer, Mr Stoner, of London. Stoner sold the dish to Dr J.W.L. Glaisher 16 April 1926 for £400.

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 7.8 cm
Length: 45.1 cm
Width: 36 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Southwark ⪼ Surrey ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

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


17th Century, second quarter#
Charles I
Production date: dated AD 1638 : dated


The extraordinary dish was probably made at the Pickleherring pottery but potteries at Montague Close, and Rotherhithe were operating in Southwark at the date of manufacture. Only two more examples are known, one in the Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio (inv. no. 25.2), and one formerly in the Longridge Collection in the USA. The initials on this one may have been those of Edward Ireland and Ann Avers who married at St Margaret’s, West¬minster, on 17 January 1638.

The shape and decoration of the dish imitates a ‘rustic’ lead-glazed earthenware dish by the French potter, Bernard Palissy (d.1590) or by one of his followers, working in Fontainebleau, Paris, or Rouen. Claude Beaulat, a French merchant in London, whose wife, Anne, was a relative of the the potter, Jean Barthélémy of Rouen, seems to have specialized in importing ceramics which could account for the presence of ‘rustic’ dishes there to copy. (See Documentation Britton, 1991 and Denis-Dupuis 2019)

School or Style


Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colours ( blue, green, yellow, and brown)

Materials used in production

off-white Tin-glaze

Techniques used in production

Moulding : Buff earthenware, press-moulded, with applied relief motifs, tin-glazed off-white, and painted in blue, green, yellow, and brown

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: followed by an elaborate loopy flourish

  • Text: I/E A/1638
  • Location: On back
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1399-1928
Primary reference Number: 71918
Old object number: 4912
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 19 June 2023 Last processed: Friday 16 February 2024

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Dish with shells and foliage, a snake, two frogs and two lizards" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-16 03:03:45

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