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Tankard: C.2009-1928

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Pottery: Unidentified Siegburg pottery




Greyish-buff salt-glazed stoneware shading to brown near the top, with moulded relief decoration and pewter cover. Cylindrical in form tapering towards the neck, with cordons round the base and neck, and a small loop handle of D section. The domed pewter cover is linked to the hinged thumbpiece with twin balls attached by a ring to the top of the handle. The exterior is decorated with three vertical panels moulded in relief with the following subjects: Christ healing a blind man in an architectural setting, with below, a two lions supporting a rectangular panel with the relief inscription 'VCH:GOT/HILF MIR'; a crown over a shield bearing the royal arms of England, below is a rectangular panel' HEINRICHVS IV NAV/REX FRANCO 1590'; and a standing figure of Tancred in armour holding a shield charged with three bull's heads, with above an arched ribbon bearing the inscription 'DER EDELE RITTER TANCRE 1590', and below, a double eagle in a scrolled cartouche. On the side below the handle is scratched 'ANNO/1590' underlined.


History note: Henry F. Holt Collection; Christie, Manson & Woods, 19 June 1871, Catalogue of the highly interesting collection of antiquities & works of art formed by the late Henry F. Holt Esq: comprising early domestic utensils and drinking vessels. . . . ., lot ; Mr G.A. Bartlett; bought from Mr George Stoner in London on 2 November 1908 for £20 by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge.

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 24 cm
Height: 26.5 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Siegburg ⪼ North Rhine-Westphalia ⪼ Germany

Acquisition and important dates

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


19th Century, Mid#
Circa 1840 CE - 1860 CE


Henry, King of Navarre, succeeded to the throne of France as Henry IV in 1589 but was not accepted by the Roman Catholic League, because he was a Protestant. His uncle Cardinal Charles de Bourbon was proclaimed King by the League but died in 1590. Henry was not crowned king until 27th February 1594 after he had converted to the Roman Catholic faith in July 1593.

This tankard form is known in Germany as a Schnelle. It was purchased by Dr Glaisher as a genuine Siegburg tankard and was catalogued as such by Rackham in 1935. It has since been identified as a fake because it is not made by the same techniques as Siegburg tankards of the second half of the 16th century. The date incised below the handle is also uncharacteristic. One producer of reproductions of Schnelle and other Renaissance stoneware was Peter Loevenich, who worked in Siegberg between 1830 and 1845. Later in the century these were passed off as 16th century by unscrupulous or ignorant dealers.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Surface composed of salt-glaze
Cover composed of pewter
Thumbpiece composed of pewter
Base Width 9 cm

Materials used in production


Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: ANNO is underlined once; 1590 is underlined with eight lines of decreasing length below that

  • Text: ANNO/1590
  • Location: On side below handle
  • Method of creation: Incised into body
  • Type: Date

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.2009-1928
Primary reference Number: 76567
Old object number: 2870
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 29 June 2022 Last processed: Wednesday 13 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Tankard" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-21 06:39:47

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