A Normandy jug, made in the mid-19th century.
This jug is an excellent example of a French cider jug in the typical red glaze of Normandy, with applied slip and moulded decoration. Its body is asymmetrical and the rim has been incised to encircle the jug with a foliate scroll design, and it ends in a small conical foot.
The jug is in good antique condition, with minor wear consistent with age and use. The rim is slightly chipped, and the base has some sagging due to its age.
Various manufacturers produced jugs in the Guernsey measure of ‘Pot’, which was equivalent to half a pint and occasionally larger. The ‘Pot’ was usually in the form of a can, although some of them have also been made in miniatures.
The effective size of a jug, measured by the height from the bottom to the widest part of the top, ranged from half a pint to one gallon. Occasionally, cans were made up to a five gallon capacity.
These jugs were a feature of pottery-making centres in Normandy in the 13th century. They are reminiscent of wares found in excavations in England and, as such, they may have influenced the development of ceramic-making techniques in England.
This jug is a rare example of the ‘thumbing’, which was an important decorative technique in jug making. Many medieval jugs had convex, or’sagging’ bottoms and this thumbing was thought to counteract this sagging, thus making the jug more stable on a flat surface without rolling away.