Skip to main content

Drinking pot: M.5-1954

An image of Drinking pot

Terms of use

These images are provided for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND). To license a high resolution version, please contact our image library who will discuss fees, terms and waivers.

Download this image

Creative commons explained - what it means, how you can use our's and other people's content.

Alternative views

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Pottery: Unknown
Silversmith: Unknown




Lead-glazed earthenware mounted in silver-gilt with engraved decoration

Red earthenware, thrown, with treacly-brown lead-glaze, the mount on the neck, and cover of silver-gilt with engraved decoration. The pot has a bulbous body with a projecting foot, a short cylindrical neck, and an applied loop handle. Round the foot it has a toothed silver-gilt mount with a projecting flat border. The base is incised with a cross with W and N beside it


History note: Miss Lilian Coats (d. 1954), Fornethy House, by Aleth, Perthshire; the Executors; sold Christie's, 21 July 1954. . . . The late Miss L. Coats removed from Fornethy House, Perthshire, lot ; Thomas Lumley, London from whom purchased

Legal notes

Given by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam

Measurements and weight

Height: 14.9 cm
Height: 6 1/8 in
Width: 5 1/8 in

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1954-10-21) by Lumley, Thomas


16th Century, Mid
Circa 1545 CE - 1560 CE


Between about 1530-90 there was a fashion for pottery drinking vessels with silver-gilt or silver mounts and covers. It began in Court circles and spread gradually to the country gentry, prosperous yeomen and merchants. In 1558 Etienne Perlin noted in his 'Description of England' that the English drank great quantities of beer, not 'out of glasses, but from earthern pots with silver handles and covers, and this even in houses of persons of middling fortune'. Most of these pots are of brown salt-glazed stoneware from the Rhineland or coloured tin-glazed earthenware from the Low Countries. Their silver covers and mounts which protected the edges and gave them a more luxurious appearance, were made in London or a few other towns, such as Exeter and Norwich. Brightly coloured Isnik pottery jugs imported from Turkey were also treated in this way (see M.16.-1948). Mounted lead-glazed earthenware pots, which were probably made in England, are less common. This example shows the squat, short-necked form popular during the mid-sixteenth century. A taller pot in the Victoria and Albert Museum has mounts with London hallmarks for 1546-47.

No marker's or hallmarks on the silver

School or Style


Components of the work

Cover composed of silver-gilt
Mounts composed of silver-gilt

Materials used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: a cross with W beside left arm and N to left of upright arm
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Possible maker's mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.5-1954
Primary reference Number: 77311
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 16 June 2023 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Drinking pot" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-12 17:31:32

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Drinking pot |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-12 17:31:32|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

<div class="text-center">
    <figure class="figure">
        <img src=""
        alt="Drinking pot"
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Drinking pot</figcaption>

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...