Drinking in 17th Century England

This blog has been set up to help understand the visual and material culture of drinking in Early Modern England. I can only apologise for the poor quality of some of the photos; I am no photographer. Please click on the various posts to find out more information.
Wassail Bowl
Place of origin:

England, Great Britain (made)


Date:

1640-1680 (made)


Artist/Maker:

unknown (production)


Materials and Techniques:

Lignum vitae, with ivory decoration


Museum number (V&A):

W.8A to C-1976


Gallery location:

British Galleries, room 56d, case 12
Object history note
This unique ceremonial drinking ensemble is said to have been presented to Sir Charles Cokayne, first Viscount Cullen, by Charles I after the battle of Naseby in 1645. (Dating casts doubt on this tradition). Close inspection of the engine-turned rose ornament shows that two separate craftsmen were involved. The candlestands and table were probably added to make up a set with the wassail bowl and candlesticks in about 1670-80
Dimensions
Height: 50 cm

Wassail Bowl

  • Place of origin:

    England, Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1640-1680 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    unknown (production)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Lignum vitae, with ivory decoration

  • Museum number (V&A):

    W.8A to C-1976

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, room 56d, case 12

    Object history note

    This unique ceremonial drinking ensemble is said to have been presented to Sir Charles Cokayne, first Viscount Cullen, by Charles I after the battle of Naseby in 1645. (Dating casts doubt on this tradition). Close inspection of the engine-turned rose ornament shows that two separate craftsmen were involved. The candlestands and table were probably added to make up a set with the wassail bowl and candlesticks in about 1670-80

    Dimensions

    Height: 50 cm

— 9 months ago with 2 notes
#Wassail Bowl  #Drinking  #Early Modern  #Drinking Vessel  #communal  #Political Drinking Vessels  #communal drinking 

The Fuddling Cup 

Place of Origin: Southwark, England

Date: ca. 1635-1645

Artist/Maker: Unknown

Materials and Techniques:Tin-glazed earthenware, painted

Dimensions: Height – 9.3 cm / Width – 12.6 cm

Provenance: Purchased by Mr William Cleverly Alexander from Miss Davis, Salisbury, 1902. Given by Lady Lister, daughter of W.C. Alexander, 1919, to the Victoria and Albert Museum.

 

— 9 months ago with 4 notes
#fuddling  #Drink  #Early Modern  #Drinking  #Vessel  #Fuddling Cup  #Puzzle  #Trick Drinking Vessels  #Trick  #1600s  #seventeenth century  #Early Modern Seventeenth Century 
This fuddling cup produced in Staffordshire and dated from 1689-1702 is interesting in that it has an inscription on it:
HEARE IS A HEALTH TO K W
The fuddling cup is therefore explicitly linked to the drinking of healths. 

This fuddling cup produced in Staffordshire and dated from 1689-1702 is interesting in that it has an inscription on it:

HEARE IS A HEALTH TO K W

The fuddling cup is therefore explicitly linked to the drinking of healths. 

— 10 months ago with 20 notes
#fuddling  #Fuddling Cup  #Drinking  #Early Modern  #Drink  #Puzzle  #trick drinking vessels 
A large number of fuddling cups were decorated fairly plainly or with no decoration at all. They also seem to have been produced in large numbers with fragments being found regularly across England.
These two details suggest that they were not necessarily designed just to be looked at but to be actually used. The large number also suggests that the practice of playing drinking games with them was quite widespread

A large number of fuddling cups were decorated fairly plainly or with no decoration at all. They also seem to have been produced in large numbers with fragments being found regularly across England.

These two details suggest that they were not necessarily designed just to be looked at but to be actually used. The large number also suggests that the practice of playing drinking games with them was quite widespread

— 10 months ago
#Puzzle  #Puzzle Cup  #Fuddling  #Fuddling Cup  #Drinking  #Early Modern  #trick drinking vessels 
What should we call Fuddling Cups?

It is not known when they were first called “fuddling cups” but the term was in use by 1791. The Reverend J. Collinson wrote of earthenware made at Donyatt in Somerset, “the chief productions of the Crock Street potteries would appear to have been Jolly Boys or Fuddling Cups.”

The ‘Oxford English Dictionary’ defines “fuddle”, a word in use by the late 16th century, as “to confuse with, or as with, drink”.

A three-part cup in the Taunton Museum, dated 1697, with the inscription “THREE MERY BOYS,” has led scholars to suggest that the individual cups were called boys; similarly, a fuddling cup formerly in the Louis Lipski collection is labeled “DRYNCK ALL BOYSE”, with a word on each container so that the words can be read in three ways. ‘Boy’ may be a corruption of the French conjugated verb ‘bois’, to drink, or may derive from earlier drinking cups decorated with faces on each of the cups. 

Fragments of fuddling cups found in Southwark and Rotherhithe potting sites confirm their manufacture in the London area. Undecorated versions of these cups were the least costly and were produced in the greatest numbers. All dated fuddling cups (1633-1649) have a cordon at the junction of the neck and the body suggesting that others with this feature can be dated to the same approximate time period.

http://museums.fivecolleges.edu/detail.php?museum=hd&t=objects&type=all&f=&s=boy&record=79

— 10 months ago
#Fuddling  #Fuddling Cup  #Drink  #Drinking  #Puzzle  #Puzzle Cup  #Anachronistic Names 
"The tyg was, before the introduction first of separate mugs, and subsequently of glasses, the cup common to all the guests at convivial gatherings, and was furnished on all sides with suitable handles (very odd-looking to the modern eye), which probably indicated the portion of the cup from which each convive was to drink. These vessels, and others of the same body and glaze, must, from the conditions of their employment, have been made in countless thousands, and a certain not inconsiderable proportion doubtless bore dates and inscriptions; yet it will be observed that only a very small number of such have come under our notice."

Examples of English Pottery

John Eliot Hodgkin and Edith Hodgkin

1973

— 10 months ago with 1 note
#Ceramics  #pottery  #tyg  #tygs  #communal drinking 
What should we call puzzle jugs?

The term ‘puzzle jug’ wasn’t actually used by people of Early Modern England as the Oxford English Dictionary helpfully points out:

  puzzle cup   n.

1882   Hamilton Sale Catal. No. 806,   A two-handled puzzle-cup painted with flowers.
1968   Metrop. Mus. Art Bull. 26 385   Puzzle cups were made in Holland, where the maiden’s portrait was replaced by a windmill… These windmills could be set in motion.
1984   Syracuse (N.Y.) Herald-Jrnl. 11 Jan. b3   Kaskin also makes ceramic animal whistles,..wooden puzzle cups and wooden flying toys.
  

  puzzle jug   n.

1865   Sci. Amer. 1 July 129/2   The puzzle jug was an ale jug, and so contrived..to render it impossible to use it like other jugs.
1960   R. G. Haggar Conc. Encycl. Continental Pott. & Porc. 375/1   The potter, Cornelis Hendricksz (born 1566), is stated to have made surprise jugs or puzzle jugs.
1993   H. Petroski Evol. Useful Things 171   A curious category of earthenware known as ‘puzzle jug’. These devices had odd projecting tubes, hollow handles, and hidden conduits that carried the liquid in deceptive and unexpected ways.
2006   Western Morning News (Plymouth(Nexis) 21 Jan. 6   A collection of Barnstaple pieces, which includes a puzzle jug.
So if these terms are late nineteenth century inventions - what term did the early modern people use for them? And how should we term them as historians of the twenty-first century?
— 10 months ago
#Puzzle Cup  #puzzle jug  #puzzle  #anachronism  #OED  #Anachronistic names 
Delftware jug of the standard form and with a common verse, probably Liverpool, dated 1732. Courtesy Dreweatt Neate, Newbury.
The verse on the puzzle jug reads:
Here Gentlemen come try your skillI’ll hold a wager if you willThat you don’t drink this Liquor allWithout you spill or let some fall

Delftware jug of the standard form and with a common verse, probably Liverpool, dated 1732. Courtesy Dreweatt Neate, Newbury.

The verse on the puzzle jug reads:

Here Gentlemen come try your skill
I’ll hold a wager if you will
That you don’t drink this Liquor all
Without you spill or let some fall

— 10 months ago with 6 notes
#Puzzle Jug  #Eighteenth Century  #Drink  #Early Modern  #Verse  #Puzzle  #trick drinking vessels 

Michelle Erickson and London’s Indigenous Clays

Potter Michelle Erickson discusses the different projects she worked on as an artist in residence at the Victoria and Albert Museum, as well as how London’s clay played into her work.

Not specifically related to drinking, but interesting nonetheless.

— 10 months ago with 2 notes
#Michelle Erickson  #Ceramics  #London clay  #victoria and albert museum  #Materials 
British Puzzle Jugs →

A very good website on puzzle jugs and how they were used and seen.

— 10 months ago
#Puzzle  #Puzzle Jug  #trick drinking vessels 
The Exeter Puzzle Jug
The figures on this decorated jug are thought to represent naked bishops, dancing girls and musicians. It was made around AD 1300 in Saintonge in medieval France, but was found in pieces on an Exeter building site in 1899. This kind of humour would hardly have been acceptable to everyone at the time. It shows that medieval Exeter was a city with European tastes and trading links and a sophisticated outlook.The jug was donated to RAMM by a man who found the pieces in his drain when it was being repaired. The fragments were gathered up by a museum curator and sent to the British Museum to be restored to what we see now.This jug’s puzzle lies in working out how to fill it up and how the liquid then gets to the spout despite its hollow centre. In other puzzle jugs the liquid spills out unexpectedly through hidden holes or spouts, to trick the unwary. In medieval Europe the church was at the centre of life - even if it was the butt of a joke. A wealthy, cultured elite across Europe shared the same taste in entertaining, tableware and possibly even humour.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/objects/gsTBY1J2T9KVyP1I3AgmSA

The Exeter Puzzle Jug

The figures on this decorated jug are thought to represent naked bishops, dancing girls and musicians. It was made around AD 1300 in Saintonge in medieval France, but was found in pieces on an Exeter building site in 1899. This kind of humour would hardly have been acceptable to everyone at the time. It shows that medieval Exeter was a city with European tastes and trading links and a sophisticated outlook.

The jug was donated to RAMM by a man who found the pieces in his drain when it was being repaired. The fragments were gathered up by a museum curator and sent to the British Museum to be restored to what we see now.
This jug’s puzzle lies in working out how to fill it up and how the liquid then gets to the spout despite its hollow centre. In other puzzle jugs the liquid spills out unexpectedly through hidden holes or spouts, to trick the unwary. 

In medieval Europe the church was at the centre of life - even if it was the butt of a joke. A wealthy, cultured elite across Europe shared the same taste in entertaining, tableware and possibly even humour.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/objects/gsTBY1J2T9KVyP1I3AgmSA

— 10 months ago with 3 notes
#Exeter Puzzle Jug  #Puzzle  #Puzzle Jug  #Exeter  #14th Century  #trick drinking vessels 

The making of a puzzle jug

In this film, created by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, potter Michelle Erickson recreates an 18th century puzzle jug.

For how the jug was made is from 0.00 - 5.20.

But for a particularly interesting bit on how the jug was used watched from 5.20 - 5.55.

— 10 months ago with 3 notes
#Puzzle Jug  #Making  #Puzzle  #Pottery  #18th Century  #drinking  #early modern  #Reconstruction  #trick drinking vessels 

All the pieces below were from the Fitzwilliam Museum. Sorry if that was not clear earlier.

— 10 months ago

Flat-lidded tankard

English, c.1690

Maker’s mark: TB in heart

Pewter decorated with ‘wriggle work’ flowers and foliage; initials E/RH stamped on lid

 

A.F. de Navarro Bequest

NAV.26-1933

— 10 months ago
#Pewter  #Tankard  #Drink  #Drinking  #Drunk  #Drunkenness  #Early Modern  #17th Century  #standard drinking vessels