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Jug: C.91-1997

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Production: unidentified English pottery




Yellow-glazed earthenware, bat-printed in black with allegorical figure of Europe and verse and painted in enamels.

Earthenware, lead-glazed yellow, bat-printed onglaze in black, and painted in red, green, and dark reddish-brown enamels. Ovoid body with projecting footring, cylindrical neck with projecting lip, and angular handle with a straight back, an inward scroll at the top, and two concave curves and a slight kick at the bottom. On one side it is printed with a vignette of an allegorical female figure seated holding up a lantern, seated in front of a horse, titled EUROPE below. This is repeated smaller and surrounded by a reddish brown circle on the front. On the other side is a wreath of flowers and foliage with a military trophy at top centre, and a shield flanked by palm branches at bottom centre. Inside it is a verse: 'When Britain calls, her sons will fly,/With British hearts to aid her,/Will conquer or will nobly die:/To crush the proud invader,/When wars terrific, voice shall cease/The glorious combat ended,/We'll shade us in the bow'r of peac[e]/By sacred laws defended,/O'er flowing bowls with each his glass,/We'll drink, to ev'ry pretty lass.' Below, and round the shoulder, there is a horizontal reddish-brown enamel band. Both sides of the neck are painted with a wavy spray of red berries and green trefoil leaves. The lip is outlined in reddish-brown enamel, and there is a thicker line round the rim. There are reddish-brown lines down the sides of the handle and across the top angle.


History note: Provenance uncertain before R.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: 19.8 cm
Width: 21.6 cm

Relative size of this object

21.6 cm19.8 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Acquisition and important dates

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


Late 18th or early 19th century
George III
Circa 1790 CE - Circa 1820 CE


The verse printed on the jug appears to have been based on a traditional English song. In ‘The Universal Songster or Museum of Mirth’, a collection of traditional English songs published in 1826, the lines on the jug appear in a ballad entitled ‘My Country, Love, and Liberty!’. The ‘Universal Songster’ was illustrated by George Cruickshank, a noted caricaturist, demonstrating the close links that existed between traditional songs and the popular prints of the day, both serving as sources of entertainment and humour. The verses selected for the jug sets a patriotic and celebratory tone, emphasising drinking and merry-making. The final two lines on the jug do not appear in the song as printed in Cruickshank’s book but it is possible there were several different versions of the ballad or that the song was adapted for the jug.

Transfer printing was introduced to English pottery in the second half of the 18th century. Most early transfer-printed ware used the glue bat method. In this method, the design was engraved on a copper plate, which was then covered with linseed oil. The thin bat of animal glue was pressed onto the oiled plate and then applied to the ware. Once the bat was removed, the ware was dusted with powdered metallic oxide, which adhered to the oil, and fired to fix the design. This method was common for round-bodied vessels like this mug because the flexible glue bat can easily stretch round curving body.

Components of the work


Materials used in production

yellow Lead-glaze

Techniques used in production

Painting overglaze
Transfer printing

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: tie-on tag

  • Text: "MD/c. 1810/small chip/AES 1911 £525"
  • Location: Tied onto the jug on arrival
  • Method of creation: Hand-written
  • Type: Label
  • Text: "When Britain calls, her sons will fly,/With British hearts to aid her,/Will conquer or will nobly die:/To crush the proud invader,/When wars terrific, voice shall cease/The glorious combat ended,/We'll shade us in the bow'r of peac(e)/By sacred laws defended,/O'er flowing bowls with each his glass,/We'll drink, to ev'ry pretty lass."
  • Location: On side within wreath
  • Method of creation: Transfer-printed in black
  • Type: Inscription
  • Text: "EUROPE"
  • Location: On side of jug below scene
  • Method of creation: Transfer-printed in black
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.91-1997
Primary reference Number: 76351
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 25 February 2020 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Jug" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-12-01 13:34:24

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{{cite web|url= |title=Jug |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-12-01 13:34:24|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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