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Tankard: C.2077-1928

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Production: Unidentified Altenburg pottery (Probably)




Greyish-white salt-glazed stoneware with applied relief decoration in a different shade of white, the crowned arms of Augustus II as King of Poland and Elector of Saxony (1697-1733); pewter mounts, thumbpiece, and cover.

Greyish-white stoneware, thrown, and turned, with applied moulded relief decoration in a warmer shade of white clay, and salt-glaze; pewter mounts, thumbpiece, and cover. The cylindrical tankard has two bands of horizontal reeding with a pewter band between them at the top and bottom of the sides, and a loop handle. The main field is decorated with two plants with five stylized blooms, between which is a crown over two shields bearing the arms of Augustus II as King of Poland and Elector of Saxony (1697-1733), enclosed by palms. Above and below are rows of flower heads. Attached to the top of a handle is a pewter mount joined by a hinge to a mount round the rim, the ball-shaped thumbpiece, and the cover, which has a 'pie crust' edge, and is flat on top. In the centre of the underside is a pewterer's mark of a hand and the initials B L/G. The mount round the foot has alternate scallops and points at the top, and has indentations round the edge.


History note: Marc Louis Emmanuel Solon (1835-1913); sold by Charles Butters, Hanley, 26-28 November 1912, Catalogue of the Collection of Pottery & Porcelain in the Collection of L.M. Solon, lot 440; Mr Richards, dealer, Nottingham; sold for £14 on 3 August 1918 to Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J. W. L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 18.7 cm
Height: 24.1 cm
Width: 14.8 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Altenburg ⪼ Saxony ⪼ Germany

Acquisition and important dates

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


18th Century, Early#
Augustus II (1670-1733)
Circa 1725 - 1733


Altenburg is situated on the border between West Saxony and Thuringia in eastern Germany. Stoneware was being produced there by the third decade of the seventeenth century and in 1667 six master potters were recorded. Early Altenburg stoneware typically had a tan-coloured surface, but in the second quarter of the eighteenth century the potters introduced an off-white body, presumably in order to compete with the whiteness of faïence. Many of the tankards were decorated with applied reliefs of coats-of-arms. The stylized floral decoration flanking the arms on this one, suggest that was made towards the end of the reign of Augustus II (ruling 1696-1733)

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Base Diameter 11.5 cm

Materials used in production

greyish-white Stoneware

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.2077-1928
Primary reference Number: 73079
Old object number: 3995
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 21 February 2023 Last processed: Tuesday 17 October 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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