|Salt glaze pieces, middle fragments from Bartman Jugs 'eye' and 'beard' and 'medallion' found Mudlarking|
The face of a bearded man is emblazoned in relief decoration, on the neck of each one. Originally thought to represent the mythical wild man, popular in northern European folklore from 14th century. Later the face became linked with cardinal Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621), a fierce opponent of alcohol and Protestantism in Germany, perhaps by protestants wishing to ridicule the cardinal by associating him with vessels carrying alcohol. In the 17th century, many would be decorated with a medallion in the middle of the body, usually a coat of arms of royalty, noble families or towns. No success yet in finding a full Bartmann face, tantalisingly I’ve found a few fragments of face , an eye and beard and other decorations, perhaps monograms, sections of handles and undecorated jug pieces. One to keep looking for.