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  • Place of origin:

    Wrotham (made)

  • Date:

    1649 (dated)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Livermore, John (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Lead-glazed earthenware with slip decoration

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Mr Wallace Elliot

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 138, The Harry and Carol Djanogly Gallery, case A, shelf 2

Physical description

Tyg of red earthenware, decorated in white slip under a yellow glaze. Bucket-shaped, with four white double loop handles decorated with twisted threads of red and white clay and red dots. Decorated on the body iwth trailed chevron pattern and dots and with applied rectangular white panels impressed with (1) the date '1649', (2) the initials 'IL' (probably for John Livermore) and a stylised lion (3) the initials 'WSC' and a cross, and (4) a fleur-de-lys and a rosette.

Place of Origin

Wrotham (made)


1649 (dated)


Livermore, John (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Lead-glazed earthenware with slip decoration

Marks and inscriptions

for the maker John Livermore

'WSC 1649'


Height: 15.9 cm, Diameter: 12.7 cm

Object history note

From the Lomax Collection, Lot 90 (London, Cookson).
Lead glazed earthenware 'tyg' with slip-trailed decoration and stamped pads of white clay. English (Wrotham), dated 1649. This four-handled cup has the initials 'IL' stamped on one of the applied pads, for John Livermore, one of the earliest slipware potters working at Wrotham.

Historical context note

Slipware, 1670-1720
Made in North Staffordshire: About 1670-1720
Lead-glazed earthenware with impressed, applied or trailed white slip decoration
Both th epossibilities and the inherent limitations of slip decoration were fully explored in this period. Display dishes with elaborate free-hand trailed decoration were made by several families of country potters, of whom Thomas Toft I is justly the most famous. In the Burslem area, 'tygs' (multi-handled jugs) and posset pots for communal drinking were made on a commercial scale, as well as porringers, and small cups for strong ale. Before salt-glazing was introduced to Staffordshire about 1700, imitations of stonewares were made with streaky brown glazes.
17th-Century Slipware
Made in the South East and South West of England; 160-1700
Lead-glazed earthenware with impressed, applied or trailed white slip decoration
Red earthenwares with trailed white slip designs were at first imoported from the Netherlands. They were later copied at Harlow in Essex, at Wrotham in Kent and, by the mid-17th century, in North Stafforshire. The Harlow kilns supplied London throughout the 17th century with 'Metropolitan Slipwares' often bearing moralising inscriptions. The farmer-potters of Wrotham supplied their local market with robust multi-handled 'tygs' from about 1600 until the 1730s. In Wiltshire, special covered pots for mulled ale were made for wassailing on Twelfth Night.

Descriptive line

Red earthenware decorated in white slip and covered with a yellowish lead glaze. Made by John Livermore. English (Wrotham), dated 1649.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Charleston, Robert, World Ceramics, London, 1968
Barker, David, Slipware, Shire Publications, 1993

Labels and date

Made in Wrotham, Kent, probably by John Livermore; dated 1649
Inscription: 'IL' (for the maker John Livermore) 'WSC 1649'
Lead-glazed earthenware with slip decoration

C.118-1938 Wallace Elliot Bequest [23/05/2008]
Drinking cup, made by John Livermore, Kent (Wrotham), dated 1649 [2010 (TAB)]


Earthenware; Lead glaze; Slip




Ceramics; Slipware; Earthenware


Ceramics Collection

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