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Tankard: C.2012-1928

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Production: Hilgers, Hans




Unglazed off-white stoneware tankard decorated with three vertical panels each showing a coat-of-arms in relief

Unglazed off-white stoneware, thrown and turned, with applied relief decoration. Cylindrical form, tapering towards the top, with cordons round the base and neck, and a small loop handle with a longitudinal depression on the exterior and lower terminal with indentation The sides are decorated with three applied rectangular panels with relief decoration: the royal arms of Spain accompanied by the chain of the Order of the Golden Fleece; the arms of the Holy Roman Empire with the initials and date 'J.H. 1594' and the chain of the Golden Fleece; and the Tudor royal arms of England with the same initials and date.


History note: Sir Anthony Nathan de Rothschild, Bart, (1810-76); sold Christie, Manson & Woods, 13 June 1923, Catalogue of the choice collection of old French furniture, objects of art and tapestry formed by the late Sir Anthony de Rothschild Bt. between 1840 and 1850, removed from Aston Clinton, Aylesbury, and now sold by order of his daughters, Lady Battersea & the Hon. Mrs. Eliot Yorke, one of two tankards in lot 115; bought for 11 guineas by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J. W. L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 24.2 cm
Width: 12.4 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


16th Century, Late
Production date: circa AD 1594 : the date was cut into the mould, so the tankard could be a little later


From about 1550 tall narrow tankards, known as Schnelle, were a standard product of Siegburg potters' workshops. Their vertical panels of relief decoration were made in shallow gutter-shaped moulds, and after removal from them, were applied to the sides of the thrown tankards before firing. Coats-of-arms were among the most characteristic ornamental motifs. In addition to those of the Duchy of Jülich-Kleve-Berg in which Siegburg was situated, they included the arms of the Holy Roman Empire, German electorates and Imperial cities, and the royal arms of foreign states. On this tankard the first two arms mentioned in the description are accompanied by the chain of the Order of the Golden Fleece, the most important continental order of chivalry, which had been founded at Bruges in 1430 by Phillip the Good, Duke of Burgundy.

The initials 'HH' are attributed to the potter, Johannes (Hans) Hilgers Knütgen, and occur on Siegburg stoneware dated between 1570 to the 1590s.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Base Diameter 8.4 cm

Materials used in production

White stoneware

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: 1594
  • Location: Under arms of the Empire and royal arms of England
  • Method of creation: Moulded in relief
  • Type: Date
  • Text: H H
  • Location: Below date under arms of the Empire and arms of England
  • Method of creation: Moulded in relief
  • Type: Maker's mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.2012-1928
Primary reference Number: 76569
Old object number: 4207
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 17 January 2023 Last processed: Friday 15 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: 2024-07-14 15:24:19

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