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Flower brick

Flower brick

  • Place of origin:

    Liverpool (probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1760 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Tin-glazed earthenware, painted

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mr Stuart G. Davis

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 52a, case 3

Object Type
Other than vases, so-called 'flower bricks' seem to have been the most common receptacle for flowers in the 18th century. There is no record of what they were called at the time. There has long been speculation that these objects might have been used as inkstands, with a removable bottle of ink, and space for quills. However, this is unlikely as often they lack a large enough central hole, and also would hold unnecessarily large numbers of quills - particularly as many pairs of bricks are known. Evidence for their use as holders for cut flowers can be found on a painted chimney-board in the V&A (museum no. W.35-1928) which shows similarly pierced containers being used in this way.

The distinctive range of colours in which this flower brick is painted has come to be known as 'Fazackerly', in reference to a similarly painted jug which was known to have been presented to one Thomas Fazackerly and inscribed 'T.F. 1757'. Delftware objects (tin-glazed earthenware) decorated in these colours, comprising lemon yellow, orange, sage green, dark indigo blue, pale manganese purple and a strong red, can generally be attributed to Liverpool, although the same palette seems occasionally to have been employed at potteries in Bristol.

Physical description

Flower sprays on all four sides in yellow, red, green, blue and manganese-purple.
Body colour: Buff.
Glaze: Greyish white pooling towards the upper edge.
Shape: One large cruciform hole and twenty-eight smaller round ones in the top. Recessed foot with a squared off slightly chamfered edge. (Alphabetic shape codes as used in appendix to Archer. Delftware. 1997)

Place of Origin

Liverpool (probably, made)


ca. 1760 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Tin-glazed earthenware, painted

Marks and inscriptions

One large cruciform hole and twenty-eight smaller round holes in the top


Height: 8.3 cm, Width: 15.9 cm, Depth: 6.7 cm

Object history note

Probably made in Liverpool, England

Descriptive line

Flower brick decorated with 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



Subjects depicted



Delftware; Ceramics; British Galleries


Ceramics Collection

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