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Mug - I Think Mug

I Think Mug

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Staffordshire (made)

  • Date:

    1990 (made)
    ca. 1990 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Dexter, Alison, born 1966 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    White earthenware with printed decoration and glazed

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Jennifer Opie, Paul Greenhalgh and Oliver Watson

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

White earthenware mug with opaque white glaze, cylindrical shape with loop handle, The mug depicts a prision sitting on a ball by a wall topped with barbed wire, with the caption 'I think, therefore I am.... in prison' and the Amnesty International logo.

Place of Origin

Staffordshire (made)


1990 (made)
ca. 1990 (designed)


Dexter, Alison, born 1966 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

White earthenware with printed decoration and glazed

Marks and inscriptions

In relief on the base


Height: 9.4 cm, Diameter: 8.1 cm, Diameter: 11 cm with handle

Object history note

One of two mugs offered in the winter 1990 Amnesty catalogue at £2.75 or £5.00 for the pair. among some 140 items in the catalogue. This mug, with its joke, contrasts with the more self-consciously 'tasteful design' of the other piece (See C.93-1991).

Part of a large collection of mugs acquired in 1991. This group [C.84 to 105-1991] were brought together from various sources and were presented by the donors - the Curator and Deputy Curators of the Ceramics and Glass Section. The collection aims to illustrate the various uses of the 'Mug as bearer of message' over the past decade.

Descriptive line

'I Think Mug', white earthenware with printed decoration and glazed, designed by Alison Dexter, England, 1990.

Labels and date

Gallery 76, case 23; label until 20/3/2015
Mugs With Messages
Mugs are the traditional drinking vessels
of workers and have been made in their
millions. Invery many different ways they
have been decorated and embellished to
become tools of propaganda, calls to action
and symbols of unity. The act of raising a
mug to the lips directly connects the user's
character and values to the sentiments
expressed on it. This is a selection of British
mugs designed with activism in mind.

Printed earthenware [20/3/2015]


White earthenware; Opaque white glaze


Printed; Glazed

Subjects depicted

Prisoners; Ball; Barbed wire


Earthenware; Drinking; Tea, Coffee & Chocolate wares; Ceramics


Ceramics Collection

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