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Copper lustre relief moulded jug: C.79-1997

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Copper lustre relief moulded jug


Shorthose & Co. (Probably)
Shorthose & Heath (Possibly)
Enoch Wood and Sons (Possibly)




White earthenware, relief moulded and sprigged, glazed, and lustred in copper and pink.

Small bulbous jug with cylindrical neck and loop handle. On the body, three white reliefs of putti on a copper lustre ground with moulded bands in white above and below. A band of copper lustre around the neck continues, with resist decoration, under the lip and another runs around the rim. Two pink lust lines down the handle cover a stylised leaf moulding. The underside is flat and glazed, with a slight foot-rim.

The reliefs are:
(a) on one side, Venus in a chariot drawn by a lion, attended by two putti, one holding a mirror up to her.
(b) On the other side, a putto in a chariot drawn by a lioness which has another putto on her back.
(c) Under the lip, a putto riding a lion with a putto and shrubs on each side.


History note: Unknown before G.H.W. Rylands, Litt.D., CBE, CH, King's College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Given by G.H.W. Rylands in memory of his mother, Betha Wolferstan Rylands

Measurements and weight

Height: 8.2 cm
Width: 11.2 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Shelton ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England
  • Burslem ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1997-10-13) by Rylands, G.H.W.


19th Century, Early#
Circa 1815 CE - Circa 1820 CE


,English lustreware was commercially produced from c.1805 and popular throughout the first half of the 19th Century. Staffordshire potters were the first and largest producers, though similar wares were also made in other regions and pink lustreware is often particularly associated with Sunderland. Minute amounts of gold were used to produce copper, gold, pink or purple lustre, depending on the type of clay, lustre formula, number of layers and firing temperature; platinum was used to mimic silver. Copper lustre was a popular choice for highlighting moulded wares and for broad borders covering the neck rim and handle. By c.1830 it was used to mimic the metal itself, by dipping the whole vessel into the lustre, perhaps with a relief or reserved band of decoration.

Most lustreware was made for everyday use, and this example is probably a milk jug. Factory markings are rare, but features of this jug, such as its shape, the rich copper lustre, the ridged white bands, the sprigs depicting putti and the pink lines on the handle have all been linked to wares made by John Shorthose, who traded as Shorthose & Heath until 1815 and after that as Shorthose & Co, at Shelton and Hanley, until 1823 when he was declared bankrupt (see Gibson, p.89). Similar sprigs have also been found on jugs by Enoch Wood.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of lustre ( copper & pink) clear glaze ( pale blue tint)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Moulding : White earthenware, relief moulded and sprigged, glazed, and lustred.

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.79-1997
Primary reference Number: 76065
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Wednesday 13 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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