This jug is an extremely rare and uniquely handsome example of grotesque painting in the Antwerp Mannerist style on English delftware.

The delftware industry had been set up in Norwich and London by Protestant emigre potters from Antwerp and the earliest products, like this jug, were close in style to Antwerp. The Ashmolean has pre-eminent Italian maiolica from the Fortnum Collection and superb later English delftware from the R.H. Warren Collection. This work will demonstrate the Antwerp/Italian origins of the technique. This jug will form a prominent key element in the 'History of Tin Glaze' section of the European Ceramics gallery in the new Ashmolean building, due to open in November 2009.


Sotheby's, 1989; Simon Sainsbury.

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