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Two-handled jar: EC.28-1945

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Object information


Probably E. Samson fils aisné (Production)


Tin-glazed earthenware two-handled jar painted in blue, pale green, yellow, brownish orange and manganese-purple with figures, amongst flowering plants, and borders of scrolling foliage

Pale buff earthenware, tin-glazed overall except for the base, and painted in blue, pale green, yellow, brownish orange, and manganese-purple. The glaze is extremely white and shiny, and has crawled slightly in several places inside the mouth. The jar is ovoid with a cylindrical neck, flaring mouth, and two applied angular handles partly moulded with half male figures, which each terminate in a large leaf on the side of the body. One side is decorated with two men carrying long swords and standing between plants with dainty sprays of flowers growing from small mounds. On the other side, a youth and a girl, each holding a bird with string attached to the bird's legs, stand between similar plants. Below there is a border of similar foliage between orange horizontal bands. On the shoulder there is a band of scrolling yellow and pale green foliage between thin manganese-purple bands. On each side of the neck there is an flowering plant springing from a rock, with a small plant and rock on either side. Above, there is a border of scrolling yellow and pale green foliage between orange horizontal bands, and on the tops of the handles, a rectangle containing similar foliage reserved in a blue ground.

Legal notes

Purchased with the Glaisher Fund

Measurements and weight

Height: 34.6 cm
Width: 27.5 cm

Relative size of this object

27.5 cm34.6 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.

Place(s) associated

  • Montreuil-sous-Bois ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1945-07-20) by The Glaisher Fund


Late 19th-early 20th Century
1880 CE - 1910 CE


This jar was acquired as a late 17th century ceramic from Talavera in Spain. If genuine it would now be dated to the 18th century, but the S on the base indicates that it is an imitation, probably by Samson of Paris, which specialized in decorating and making high-quality imitations of ceramics and other works of art. The firm was founded in 1845 by Edme Samson (1810-1891) in Paris, and he was later joined by his son, Emile Samson (1837-1913). Initially the firm decorated wares made by other factories, then in 1879 acquired a site in Montreuil-sous-Bois, and established a factory making porcelain, tin-glazed earthenware, and enamels. In 1891 Emile's son Léon (1864-1928) joined the firm.

School or Style


Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colours ( blue, pale green, yellow, orange, brown, manganese-purple) Mouth Diameter 15 cm
Body Decoratin Handles

Materials used in production

Tin-glaze Earthenware

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: S
  • Location: On base close to footring
  • Method of creation: Painted or hand-written in black
  • Type: Mark

Inscription present: rectangular white stick-on label with blue printed border

  • Text: 4763
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Hand-written in blue-black ink
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: EC.28-1945
Primary reference Number: 76931
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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Two-handled jar" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-06-26 09:27:37

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{{cite web|url= |title=Two-handled jar |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-06-26 09:27:37|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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