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Pipkin: Gl.C.35-1928

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Production: Unidentified Harlow pottery (Probably)




Red earthenware with dark cream slip-trailed decoration under yellowish lead glaze, which does not cover the base inside. Circular with carinated sides and everted rim, standing on a low foot. The mouth is pinched up at one side to form a lip, at right angles to the handle, now missing apart from the stump. Round the upper part, above a wavy line, is the trailed inscription 'FAST AND PRAY 1650 W'


History note: Alfred P. Billson Collection, Folkestone; purchased by Mr Stoner on behalf of Dr J.W.L. Glaisher at the Billson Sale, Sotheby's, 21 December, 1908, Catalogue of Antiquities and other Works of Art . . ., lot 37, for £5.10.

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 11.3 cm
Height: 6.8 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Harlow ⪼ Essex ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

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


Mid 17th century
Production date: AD 1650 : dated


In the 17th century there were potteries making slipware at Carters Mead, Brays Grove, and Latton Street in the area of Harlow New Town

Label text from the exhibition ‘Feast and Fast: The Art of Food in Europe, 1500–1800’, on display at The Fitzwilliam Museum from 26 November 2019 until 31 August 2020: Unidentified Harlow pottery, Essex, England, 1650 Lead-glazed red earthenware with cream slip-trailed decoration, inscribed: ‘FAST AND PRAY 1650 W’ Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest () This bottle and pipkin (a spouted cooking pot with handle to hold over the heat) are extraordinarily rare witnesses to early modern fasting practices. The ‘fast and pray’ inscriptions on both would have appealed to the religious radicalism of Puritans living around Harlow during the Commonwealth period (1649–60). James Wanel, named on the bottle, would have read the instruction as he drank water from it to relieve pains in his stomach during periods of abstinence. The pipkin’s burnished underside indicates that it was used for cooking the kind of meagre vegetable broth recommended for fast days by Thomas Tryon (1634–1703) in his self-help manuals (an example is displayed nearby).

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of slip ( white)
Visible Surfaces composed of lead-glaze ( yellowish)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: FAST AND PRAY 1650 W
  • Location: Round upper part
  • Method of creation: Slip-trailed
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: Gl.C.35-1928
Primary reference Number: 77055
Glaisher MS Catalogue: 2957
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 27 November 2020 Last processed: Wednesday 11 January 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Pipkin" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-01-31 11:42:18

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{{cite web|url= |title=Pipkin |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-01-31 11:42:18|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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