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Char dish: C.17-1993

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Production: Old Haymarket Pottery (Probably)
Proprietor of pottery: Barnes, Zachariah




Tin-glazed earthenware char dish, painted in polychrome with five fish on the exterior.

Earthenware with pale greyish-blue tin-glaze, painted in dark bluish-green, pale and dark manganese, and orange. Circular with straight sides and a slightly projecting base. Decorated on the exterior with five fish swimming to the left.


History note: Passed down in the family of the donor, DrJane Bidder, Cambridge

Legal notes

Given by Dr Jane Bidder

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 20.5 cm
Height: 4.2 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Liverpool ⪼ Lancashire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1993-06-19) by Bidder, Jane, Dr


18th Century, second half#
George III
Circa 1760 CE - 1780 CE


Shallow delftware dishes decorated with fish were used for potted char, a popular delicacy in the 18th century. This fish, whose full name is the arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus), is related to the salmon, and in England is only found in deep land-locked lakes, notably Lake Windermere in Cumbria. Recipes for potted char appeared in several of the best-known 18th century cookery books, such as Elizabeth Moxon's 'English Housewifery exemplified in about Four Hundred and Fifty Receipts'. Fragments of char dishes have been found on the site of the Lancaster delftware pottery, as well as in Liverpool, where Zacchariah Barnes of the Old Haymarketpottery is said to have specialized in making char dishes to send to the Lake District. Char dishs were also made in creamware (see C.18-1993).

Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colours ( in dark bluish-green, pale and dark manganese, and orange)

Materials used in production

bluish-white Tin-glaze

Techniques used in production

Tin-glazing : Earthenware with pale greyish-blue tin-glaze, painted in dark bluish-green, pale and dark manganese, and orange.

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.17-1993
Primary reference Number: 72518
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 19 July 2018 Last processed: Friday 16 February 2024

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Char dish" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-22 13:48:02

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