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Tankard

  • Place of origin:

    Creussen (In Franconia when made. Since 1815 in Bavaria., made)

  • Date:

    1672 (dated)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Salt-glazed stoneware with applied relief-moulded decoration painted in enamels and gilded. Pewter mount.

  • Museum number:

    813-1868

  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 137, The Curtain Foundation Gallery, case 52, shelf 7

The twelve Apostles (Peter, Andrew, James the Greater, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James the Lesser, Jude, Simon and Matthias) are depicted around the body of this
tankard. Their names in Latin are handwritten on a narrow band painted to look like a scroll above their heads. These men were the among the closest disciples of Jesus Christ. The word 'apostle' means one who was sent out to spread the Christian message.

The subject of the Apostles was a stock form of decoration used by potters in the small town of Creussen from 1620s onwards and many dated examples exist. Creussen was in the German region of Franconia when this particular version was made in 1672 but in 1815 it became part of Bavaria. Each figure was moulded in relief and then applied to the stoneware surface before being coated with a dark brown iron wash and salt-glazed. Afterwards the main decorative features were picked out in overglaze enamels and gilding was added. The tankard is mounted in pewter.

Physical description

Tankard of grey-brown stoneware with applied relief-moulded decoration covered with a dark brown iron wash, salt-glazed, painted in enamels and gilded. The main body of the vessel depicts the Apostles who are named on a narrow white band above as Peter, Andrew, James the Greater, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James the Lesser, Jude, Simon and Matthias. Below them is a thin blue and white striped line and below this the decoration above the foot consists of scrolls and balls probably representing fruit, in red, yellow, blue, green, white and black. The tankard is dated '1672' in white enamel below the handle. The handle bears a pig-like head spewing blood and wearing a red hat (possibly a cardinal's hat). The pewter mounts include a shell-like thumbpiece.

Place of Origin

Creussen (In Franconia when made. Since 1815 in Bavaria., made)

Date

1672 (dated)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Salt-glazed stoneware with applied relief-moulded decoration painted in enamels and gilded. Pewter mount.

Dimensions

Height: 14.9 cm to top of thumbpiece, Height: 11.8 cm tankard only without lid, Diameter: 12.8 cm, Width: 16.7 cm

Object history note

This tankard was formerly in the Weckherlin Collection, objects from which formed the core of the South Kensington (now V&A) Museum's German stoneware collection on their acquisition in 1868. The Weckherlin Collection was acquired by a fellow Belgian, the art dealer, publisher and patron of the Pre-Raphaelite painters, Jean Joseph Ernest Theodore Gambart who came to London in 1840 and took British citizenship in 1846. He displayed the collection in his London house "Rosenstead", Avenue Road, near Regent's Park, until a gas explosion caused him to reconsider the long-term security of his remaining pots - he sold 62 objects to the Museum for £800. The tankard was then worth £4.5s.

The town of Creussen was in the German region of Franconia when the tankard was made. Since 1815, Creussen has been in Bavaria. The subject of the Apostles was a stock form of decoration for the potters of this town from 1620s onwards and dated examples can be found is a number of museum collections.

Descriptive line

Salt-glazed stoneware tankard with applied relief-moulded decoration painted in enamels depicting the Apostles. Pewter mount. Made in Creussen, Germany, dated 1672.

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

David Gaimster, German Stoneware 1200-1900, London, 1997
Ekkart Klinge, Deutsches Steinzeug der Renaissance- und Barockzeit, 1979
Gisela Reineking-von Bock, Steinzeug, Cologne, 1971
Jack Hinton, The Art of German Stoneware, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2012
Josef Horschik, Creussener Steinzeug, in Keramos, vol.139/140, 1993, pp.3-282

Labels and date

Tankard depicting the Apostles
Made in Kreussen, Germany dated 1672
Stoneware with relief decoration painted in enamels, pewter mount

813-1868 [16/07/2008]

Materials

Salt-glazed stoneware; Pewter

Techniques

Applied; Painted; Relief; Gilded

Categories

Ceramics; Drinking; Stoneware

Collection

Ceramics Collection

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