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Puiforcat Water Jug Normandie

A beautiful water jug with a stylish design by the French manufacturer Puiforcat. The “Normandie” jug has an elegant integrated medallion. It can be engraved with initials on request.

‘Thumbing’ around footrim has long been a subject of debate, but recent research into medieval ceramic manufacturing techniques has revealed that the thumbing is likely to have been a means of counteracting the’sagging’ of convex bottoms on jugs like this one. This is thought to make the jug more stable when placed on a table and also to enable the jug to be tilted without rolling.

The jug has a gourd-shaped body with applied and incised decoration and traces of a brown glaze. The base is ‘thumbed’ all round the footrim and has applied straight and wavy vertical stripes. The front of the mouth of the jug is moulded with a rough representation of a human face; below, a formal brooch between human breasts in relief.

Stylistically similar to faience from Nevers, Rouen, this example is of tin-glazed earthenware. As in the case of Nevers faience, it has a band of applied ‘diamonds’ running along the base. The interior is ‘decoratively’ decorated with flowers and a bird.

This vessel is 25cm (9.8 inches) tall, and in places is only 2.4mm (0.1 inches) thick. It is decorated with vine scrolls typical of Saintonge jugs and was probably produced between 1275 and 1320.

It is a very decorative and impressive vessel that shows the skill and skill of the Saintonge potters who were active in Wales from the mid-12th century to the early 14th. This jug was found during excavations at Kidwelly Castle in Carmarthenshire. It was not a valuable vessel, but the quality of its design makes it an important example of Saintonge pottery.