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Harvest jug: GL.C.59-1928

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Harvest jug


Production: Unidentified Devon pottery (Uncertain)




Red earthenware, coated with cream slip with incised decoration under lead glaze. Bulbous body, with a short neck pinched into a lip in front, and loop handle coiled up at lower end. On the front inscribed are the initials and date 'WH 1724', enclosed in a heart, with a thistle below and the crude busts of women, each above a cartouche with the date repeated, on either side. Below the handle is a thistle, whilst over the rest of the body except the shoulder are birds and formal tulips. On the shoulder is the inscription: 'Now i am come for to supply your workmen when in haruist dry when they do labour hard and sweat good drink is better far than meat. In winter time when it is cold i likewayes then good ale can hold All seasons do the same require and most men so strong drink desire'. Round the neck are two rows of flower motives.


History note: W.H. Farmer, Crosscombe; purchased by Theodore Charbonnier, Bristol in 1911 from a descendant of his of the fifth generation at Shallowford, near South Molton; purchased November 1912 from the Theodore Charbonnier, Lynton, Devon, by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 32.5 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


18th Century, Early#
Production date: dated AD 1724 : dated


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:This jug’s inscription states: ‘Now I am come for to supply your workmen when in harvist dry when they do labour hard and sweat good drink is better far than meat’. Beer was drunk as quick liquid energy during bouts of hard labour, especially during harvest-time. This jug was likely a wedding present, given the facing male and female heads with a love heart in between. The rotund shape, flowers in bloom, and harvest reference would have been interpreted as symbols of fertility and abundance, appropriate for marriage and desired offspring.

The initials W.H. were for a farmer at Crosscombe.

School or Style


Components of the work

Decoration composed of slip

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: 1724
  • Location: On the front
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Date
  • Text: WH
  • Location: On the front
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Initials

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: GL.C.59-1928
Primary reference Number: 77087
Glaisher MS Catalogue: 3669
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 11 May 2023 Last processed: Tuesday 17 October 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) "Harvest jug" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-12-05 15:19:56

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