Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Potters Leaving Their Mark: Stabbing

It took me ages to work out what these two mudlarking finds were. I just assumed they were the decorated side of a pot, but couldn't find anything like them on the net. It is some consolation that several  12 -16 year olds also failed to identify them. They are the top of jug handles, attached to the main body or at the least rim of a jug.

Section of Medieval Surrey Whiteware Jug Handle found Mudlarking on Thames Foreshore

The rim and top of Medieval Jug Handle 1240-1500
When I picked them up from the Thames foreshore, I just assumed that the ‘stabbing’ and slash marks were decoration. Their other function was to stop the thick sections from fracturing. Insertions allowed water to be expelled from the clay when it was fired,  preventing pressure building, thus averting cracks and splits.

These pieces could be Surrey whiteware, produced in Kingston up on Thames, Cheam or Farnborough, between 1240-1500, but perhaps they are too pale? Both have traces of green glaze. The intact jugs are likely to have looked like the one below. 

Surrey/Hampshire Border  Jug Mid 14th - 15th Century Museum of London 

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