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  • Place of origin:

    England, Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1400 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (production)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pewter, cast and engraved

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Countess of Loudoun

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Metalware, room 116, case 3

Physical description

Cruet, pewter. The body of hexagonal section, with stepped mouldings at base and rim; a recurving spout of polygonal section is soldered to the body, the mouth formed as a dragon's head; the plain handle with a loop and the top and two flanges with a fragment of the hinged lid. Inscribed on two panels on the body with the name of the owner, 'THOMAS HUNTE' and an abbreviation 'HONORIFICABILITUT' of the medieval tongue twister 'HONORIFICABILITUDINITATIBUS'.

Place of Origin

England, Great Britain (made)


ca. 1400 (made)


Unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques

Pewter, cast and engraved

Marks and inscriptions



Height: 11.8 cm, Width: 5.3 cm of base, Width: 2.6 cm of rim

Object history note

This cruet and another bronze ewer were found in 1937 in a well at Ashby de la Zouch Castle during conservation work in well-filling associated with the construction of the Great Tower for Lord Hastings in 1476. The Zouche family are known to have lived in Ashby and Tong in medieval times.

Historical context note

Until about 1400 churches provided the principal market for pewter. Cruets, usually in pairs, held wine and water for use during the Mass. This cruet was found in a well cavity at Ashby de la Zouche Castle in Leicestershire. It must pre-date the filling of the well during the building of the Great Tower in 1476.

Descriptive line

Cruet, pewter, of hexagonal form, English, ca. 1400.

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

Alexander, J. and Binski, P. (eds), Age of Chivalry: Art in Plantagenet England 1200-1400, London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1987, no. 117, p. 239
Antiquaries Journal, Vol. XVIII, 1938, 178
Brownsword, Roger, "A Fourteenth-Century Latten Ewer from Tong Castle", The Journal of the Antique Metalware Society, Vol. 16, June 2008, ISSN. 1359124X, p. 30, ill.

Exhibition History

Age of Chivalry: Art in Plantagenet England 1200-1400 (Royal Academy of Arts 06/11/1987-06/03/1988)




Engraving; Casting



Collection code


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