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Normandy is famous for its wines, Burgundy’s Pinot Noir and Bordeaux’s Cabernet Sauvignon. But Normandy also has a unique apple brandy, Calvados. It is distilled in a long-established and regulated system, giving it a distinct image as a quality drink.

The normandyjug

A large number of traditional copper milk jugs made in Guernsey have survived, many of them with the bottom showing the maker’s mark and a capacity, either in pints or ‘pots’. They were manufactured until the end of WWII and some are still being made by a few coppersmiths.

The jugs range in size from half-pint up to one gallon. They are engraved on the base with a T-shaped gadget mark and are generally in good condition. Some have a ‘B’ or ‘C’ stamp on the underside.

Millet’s Norman milkmaids

The series of depictions of heroic female figures carrying traditional Norman copper milk jugs was done over a period of three decades and are often regarded as a tribute to the region in which the artist spent his childhood. Robert Herbert has written that “Millet’s Norman milkmaids were not the first paintings of peasant women that he painted, but they are the most significant and the best preserved.”

In fact, their specificity makes them stand out from Millet’s more general depictions of French peasant women doing daily and seasonal work. Unlike other depictions, these images do not rely on direct experience, but rather borrow from popular illustrations such as those of the Pont Aven school.