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Punch bowl: C.1597-1928

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Pottery: unidentified London pottery (Probably)




Tin-glazed earthenware decorated with powdered manganese-purple and painting in blue

Buff earthenware, thrown, tin-glazed bluish-white, and decorated inside with painting in blue, and outside with powdered manangese-purple. The circular bowl has deep curved sides, and stands on a footring. Inside it is decorated with a central medallion framed by a wide and a narrow blue band, enclosing a half-length figure of John Wilkes between tied back curtains. Outside the medallion is the inscription, 'Wilkes. And. Honest:Iuries. No; Mad 45' (d of Mad raised), surrounded by a narrow circle. The rim is encircled by a wide and a narrow band. The exterior is powdered overall in manganes-purple, except for the area within the footring.


History note: Acquired at Haddenham, Cambridgeshire by an unknown dealer who sold it to Mr Jolley of 11 Bridge Street, Cambridge, from whom purchased for £5 on 27 January 1910 by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 26.5 cm
Height: 10.2 cm

Place(s) associated

  • London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

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


Circa 1764 CE - Circa 1768 CE


This bowl was probably made in either 1764 or 1768. In 1764 John Wilkes (1727-92) lost his seat in parliament and was convicted of libel on account of an article published in 1763 in the 45th issue of The North Briton. Wilkes fled to France and did not return until 1768. He then stood for parliament and was elected as one of the MPs for Middlesex, but was again deprived of his seat, and was fined and imprisoned for twelve months. In both years there was enormous support for Wilkes and numerous pieces of pottery bear his portrait and slogans.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: d of Mad is raised and there is a space between that word and 45

  • Text: Wilkes. And. Honest:Iuries. No; Mad 45

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1597-1928
Primary reference Number: 72280
Old object number: 3183
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 25 February 2020 Last processed: Friday 16 February 2024

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Punch bowl" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-24 11:14:05

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{{cite web|url= |title=Punch bowl |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-24 11:14:05|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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