Cruet

ca. 1400 (made)
Cruet thumbnail 1
Cruet thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Metalware, Room 116, The Belinda Gentle Gallery
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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'.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Pewter, cast and engraved
Brief Description
Cruet, pewter, of hexagonal form, English, ca. 1400.
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'.
Dimensions
  • Height: 11.8cm
  • Of base width: 5.3cm
  • Of rim width: 2.6cm
Marks and Inscriptions
'THOMAS HUNTE' 'HONORIFICABILIUT' (On the body)
Credit line
Given by the Countess of Loudoun
Object history
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
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.
Bibliographic References
  • Alexander, Jonathan, and Paul Binski (eds.), Age of Chivalry: Art in Plantagenet England 1200-1400, London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1987.
  • 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.
Collection
Accession Number
M.26-1939

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record createdJanuary 17, 2003
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