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Book-shaped Handwarmer: C.1451-1928

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Book-shaped Handwarmer


Pottery: unidentified London pottery (Possibly)
Pottery: Unidentified Bristol pottery (Possibly)
Pottery: Brislington Pottery (Possibly)




Tin-glazed earthenware painted on blue and yellow to resemble a stamped leather binding and inscribed 'M x P/1693'

Buff earthenware, tin-glazed, and painted in blue and yellow. Rectangular with two internal chambers linked by a hole, a larger aperture at the top next to the spine, and a small hole in the top front corner. Two pseudo-clasps are attached to the covers. The spine has five horizontal ridges. The two covers are each decorated in blue with a lozenge-shaped motif enclosing the inscription 'MP/1693 with formal motifs round the edges and in the corners. The spine has five horizontal blue stripes with a stylized plant motif between each of them. The fore-edge is painted yellow


History note: Mr Sidney Hand, Grafton Street, London from whom purchased for £20 on 31 May 1922 by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Depth: 3.7 cm
Height: 10 cm
Width: 7.8 cm

Relative size of this object

7.8 cm10 cm3.7 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

  • London ⪼ England
  • Bristol ⪼ Somerset ⪼ England
  • Brislington ⪼ Somerset ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

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


Late 17th Century
William III and Mary II
Production date: dated AD 1693


No archaeological evidence has been found to indicate the origin of this book.

This handwarmer may have been made at a pottery in London, Bristol or Brislington.

Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colour ( blue from cobalt)

Materials used in production

buff Earthenware

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: MP/1693
  • Location: On front and back covers
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1451-1928
Primary reference Number: 72020
Old object number: 3753
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 10 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

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

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Book-shaped Handwarmer" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-06-03 05:39:20

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Book-shaped Handwarmer |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-06-03 05:39:20|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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