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Small jug or mustard pot: C.863-1984

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Small jug or mustard pot


Pottery: Adams, William
Silversmith: Law, Thomas




Cream stoneware, decorated with applied reliefs; silver mount.

Round bodied, with short, straight neck and applied handle. Decorated with three sprigged classical scenes, one of which represents ‘the Choice of Hercules’, above a thin, continuous raised line. The neck has been turned to give horizontal ridges and a slight lip formed opposite the handle; it is covered on the outside with a thin dark brown wash, which continues over the top of the handle. Three incised lines run around the silver mount. The interior is glazed. The underside is very slightly recessed.


History note: Unknown before donor

Legal notes

Given by Miss A.L. Wyatt

Measurements and weight

Height: 8.2 cm
Width: 10.3 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Tunstall ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England
  • Sheffield ⪼ Yorkshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1984) by Wyatt, Agnes L., Miss


19th Century, Early#
Circa 1810 CE - 1812 CE


Stoneware jugs were a common domestic item, used for water, beer milk and other liquids which might now be kept in bottles, cans or plastic jars. The size and style of this example suggest it may be a milk jug or, perhaps, a mustard pot, though there are no obvious signs that it ever had a lid (see note below). Sprigging, the application of designs formed in small plaster, clay or brass moulds and applied to leather hard clay, was a common form of decoration from the late eighteenth century. From around the mid 1820s, such jugs were more often made in two-piece relief moulds. There are several examples in the Fitzwilliam Collection.

William Adams ran a pot works in Tunstall from 1779 until his death in 1805; the business then continued under his son Benjamin until 1821. The business produced a wide range of products, but particularly stoneware and jasper jugs and mugs featuring neo-classical, hunting or contemporary scenes. Pots with ribbed, brown-glazed necks and sharply modelled sprigs, like this example, were a speciality. Turner, of Lane End, Longton had popularised this type of design in the late 18th Century (see C.1264-1928). Adams is known to have bought sprig moulds in the Turner bankrupcy sale of 1806, so it is possible that the designs used here came from that source. Thomas Law and Co. were cutlers and general silversmiths, and provided the mounts for many such Adams products. The Law business continued under subsequent generations until 1829, then as Atkin Brothers until 1925.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Interior composed of glaze ( clear, probably lead-glaze)
Neck And Handle

Materials used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: ADAMS
  • Location: On the jug base
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Factory mark

Inscription present: maker's mark of Thomas Law;

  • Text: TL
  • Location: On silver mount
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Maker's mark
  • Text: lion passant
  • Location: On silver mount
  • Type: Hall mark

Inscription present: indistinct

  • Text: C
  • Location: On silver mount
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Hall mark
  • Text: crown
  • Location: On silver mount
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Hallmark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.863-1984
Primary reference Number: 76245
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 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) "Small jug or mustard pot" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-16 03:23:02

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