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Tankard: C.2033-1928

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Production: Emens, Jan (Probably)




Brown salt-glazed stoneware tankard with a pewter cover, the sides decorated with scenes of Samson carrying off the gates of Gaza, the Sacrifice of Manoah, and Delilah shaving Samson's hair

Grey stoneware with a thin brown wash, salt-glaze, and a pewter cover. The tankard has a tapering cylindrical body with cordons round the top and base, and a strap handle with a wavy tail at its lower end. A convex pewter cover with an ovoid thumb piece is hinged to a mount attached to the top of the handle. The sides are decorated with three applied panels moulded in relief. On the right of the handle, at the top is a small figure, a mask, and foliage issuing from horns, over a trefoil arch under which Samson is carrying off the gates of Gaza; below. two nude boys support a rectangular panel bearing the words 'MANOH/SAMSON/13'. In the middle under a different version of the ornamental motif at the top, is a trefoil arch under which is an angel on a flaming altar flanked by a kneeling figures of Manoah and his wife, under which are the initials 'PR', and below, two lions (?) support a rectangular panel bearing the words 'MANOH/I VDIKA/.3.4.'. On the left of the handle, at the top is a seated devil flanked by horns , scrolls, and foliage, below which is a trefoil arch, enclosing Delilah and a man holding a knife to shave Samson's hair in front of a tent ,and a table on which is a ewer and a cup. Below a kneeling man and woman support a rectangular panel inscribed 'DIELILA/BEDREG/SAMS'


History note: William Mullins, 52 High Street, Salisbury; from whom purchased for £4 by letter of 16 August by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge. The jug arrived in Cambridge 24 August 2022.

Legal notes

Dr J. W. L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 29 cm
Width: 13.5 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Raeren ⪼ Duchy of Limburg

Acquisition and important dates

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


16th Century, Late
Circa 1567 - 1570


Raeren, near Aachen did not become part of Belgium after the First World War, and its stoneware is usually classed as German. Jan Emens (1540-93), one of the most prolific of the Raeren stoneware potters, was a member of the Mennicken family of potters and signed his work with the initials 'IE', 'JE', 'YE' 'IEM' or 'YEM' . A tankard of similar form including the wavy profile of the lower terminal of the handle, dated 1567, decorated with panels of Judith, Esther and Lucretia, is in the Louvre (inv. N 158).

The story of the Sacrifice of Manoah occurs in the Bible in Judges, 13, verses 19-20; Samson carrying off the gates of Gaza is in Judges, 16, verse 3, and Delilah ordering a man to cut Samson's hair is in Judges 16, verse 19.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Surface composed of iron-brown wash salt-glaze
Cover And Mount composed of pewter
Base Diameter 10.3 cm
Body Height 5.5 cm

Materials used in production

brown Stoneware

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: situated within a rectangular outline

  • Text: MANOH/SAMSON/13
  • Location: At bottom of panel to right of handle
  • Method of creation: Moulded in relief
  • Type: Inscription

Inscription present: situated inside a rectangular outline

  • Text: MANOH/IVDIKA/ER/3.4.
  • Location: At bottom of panel opposite to the handle
  • Method of creation: Moulded in relief
  • Type: Inscription
  • Location: At bottom of panel to left of handle
  • Method of creation: Moulded in relief
  • Type: Inscription
  • Text: PR
  • Location: In middle panel below the altar
  • Method of creation: Moulded in relief
  • Type: Initials
  • Location: In centre of underside of cover
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Mark

Inscription present: rectangular white paper stick-on label with a black line on the left, top, and right edges

  • Text: No 3887/Canette of brown/Raeren stone-/ware with 3/panels relating/to Samson/Came from/Salisbury. b./Aug 24, 1922
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Hand-written in black ink
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.2033-1928
Primary reference Number: 73031
Old object number: 3887
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 21 February 2023 Last processed: Wednesday 13 December 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 (2024) "Tankard" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-15 07:24:10

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