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Claret jug

Claret jug

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1877-1878 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Fox, George, born 1816 - died 1910 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver, parcel gilt, ruby glass, traces of gilding, hinged lid, cast feet, cast handle; inside gilt

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Silver, Room 67, The Whiteley Galleries, case 3, shelf 2

The jug demonstrates the interest in medieval art and design among British artists and craftworkers at the end of the 19th century, and the way designs were transferred to different materials.

Its form is believed to have come from a porcelain chocolate pot made in Vienna between 1744 and 1749 (Museum no. C.7&A-1968). This in turn was derived from a 12th-century metal aquamanile – a vessel used for washing hands, named from the Latin 'aqua' (water) and 'manus' (hand) – in the Kunstshistorisches Museum in Vienna. A closely related aquamanile in the form of a griffin is in the V&A (Museum no. 1471-1870).

Physical description

Jug in shape of a griffin, traces of gilding, glass eyes, hinged lid (head), two cast feet, cast handle, the inside gilt

Place of Origin

London (made)


1877-1878 (made)


Fox, George, born 1816 - died 1910 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Silver, parcel gilt, ruby glass, traces of gilding, hinged lid, cast feet, cast handle; inside gilt

Marks and inscriptions

Base: maker's mark: GF for George Fox, sterling, leopard, duty, date letter B (1877-78); On head: maker, sterling, date letter


Diameter: 14 cm body, Height: 21 cm, Length: 18.2 cm

Object history note

The griffin form of this jug is ultimately derived a 12th-century aquamanile, or water vessel, probably made in the Meuse Valley region. Its immediate predecessor is a porcelain chocolate pot, made in Vienna between 1744 and 1749. Like the crocodile teapot in this case (no. 16), it illustrates the way designs were copied in different materials. It also demonstrates the recurring interest in medieval art and design.
Form derived from a Vienna porcelain chocolate pot of the mid 18th century that was in turn derived from a medieval aquamanile in the Kunst-historisches Museum, Vienna

Descriptive line

Claret jug, silver, parcel-gilt, ruby glass, London hallmarks for 1877-8, mark of George Fox

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

E J G Smith, The Fox Family: Victorian Silversmiths, The Antique Dealer & Collector's Guide September 1974,
J.V.G. Mallet, Romanesque into Rococo; the odd case of a Vienna porcelain chocolate pot, Connoisseur , August 1969, pp.233-236


Silver; Gold; Glass


Parcel gilding; Gilding

Subjects depicted



Metalwork; Drinking


Metalwork Collection

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