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  • Place of origin:

    Germany (made)

  • Date:

    1615 (dated)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Earthenware, with lead glaze

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 56, The Djanogly Gallery, case 13

Object Type
General purpose dishes such as this may have been used for almost any type of food, as well as serving a decorative function when not in use. Little distinction was made between bowls and dishes, cups and porringers, jugs and mugs.

Werra slipware was just one of the many types of pottery which could not be replicated in England, and which was valued for its stylish decoration. At the same time as these dishes were made by clusters of potteries along the River Werra, a similar range of slipware dishes, much plainer and mainly decorated with geometric designs, was made along another German river, the Weser.

Design & Designing
A stock range of stylised figures such as soldiers and clowns was developed for use on these dishes. These figures were reproduced over a long period but have no significance other than as decoration. What is distinctive about Werra slipwares is the mixture of techniques. On a surface that would betray even the slightest mistake the slip-trailing is handled deftly, while the sgraffito decoration shows a masterly drawing technique.

Physical description

Red earthenware dish decorated with trailed white slip, the detailing of the central figure of an angel scratched through the slip in the sgraffito technique, with the date 1615.

Place of Origin

Germany (made)


1615 (dated)



Materials and Techniques

Earthenware, with lead glaze


Height: 32.4 cm

Object history note

Made in the area along the river Werra, Germany

Descriptive line

Red earthenware dish decorated with trailed and incised white slip brushed in parts with copper-green, made at Werra, dated 1615

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

Hildyard, Robin. European Ceramics. London : V&A Publications, 1999. 144 p., ill. ISBN 185177260X

Labels and date

British Galleries:
This is typical of the fine Werra slipware imported into England from about 1550 to 1650. The mixture of trailed and incised slip demonstrates the high degree of sophistication achieved by slipware potters using the very limited range of materials at their disposal. [27/03/2003]


Earthenware; Lead glaze


Glazing (coating)

Subjects depicted





Ceramics Collection

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