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Night-light holder

Night-light holder

  • Place of origin:

    Lambeth High Street (probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1765-1775 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Griffith, Abigail (producer)
    Lambeth High Street pottery (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Tin-glazed earthenware, painted

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mr W. Garrod

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 52a, case 3

Object Type
Objects such as this have often been described as 'bird feeders', but there is no evidence to support this theory. The birds and flying insects that appear in the decoration were popular motifs used widely on all types of delftware (tin-glazed earthenware). Contemporary bird feeders were, in fact, quite different. Instead, this object seems to have been made to hold a night light. Its enclosed shape provides some protection from draughts and the windows allow the light to radiate. The open top, meanwhile, provides easy access and allows the heat of the flame to dissipate.

The pottery in Lambeth High Street was one of a number of delftware factories in operation in London during the mid-18th century. Its founder, Henry Hodgson, acquired a lease on the premises shortly before his death in 1732. He also arranged for the advancement of a sum of money so that his son (of the same name) and nephew, Henry Foster, could establish a pottery business there. The factory was later acquired by William Griffith, who on his death in 1761 was described by the trades newspaper, The Public Ledger, as 'the most considerable potter in England'. His widow Abigail ran the pottery after his death.

Physical description

Birds perched on the windows, flowers and flying insects in blue.
Body colour: Buff.
Glaze: Bluish white. A few pin-holes in the underside.
Shape: Chamfered edge on outside of base and concave underside. There is a very slight string moulding running round the body at the sill level of the four windows which have undulating openings. (Alphabetic shape codes as used in appendix to Archer. Delftware. 1997)

Place of Origin

Lambeth High Street (probably, made)


ca. 1765-1775 (made)


Griffith, Abigail (producer)
Lambeth High Street pottery (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Tin-glazed earthenware, painted


Height: 10.8 cm, Diameter: 5 cm approx.

Object history note

Given by Mr W. Garrod, London, 1935.
Probably made at the Lambeth High Street pottery under the ownership of Abigail Griffith

Descriptive line

Night-light holder decorated with birds and flowers

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

Archer, Michael. Delftware: the tin-glazed earthenware of the British Isles. A catalogue of the collection in the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: HMSO, in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1997. ISBN 0 11 290499 8

Production Note

London (probably Lambeth High Street, Abigail Griffith)



Subjects depicted

Bird; Insect; Flower


Delftware; Ceramics; Lighting; British Galleries


Ceramics Collection

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