Hesitated before picking up the piece below with holes, now I'm really pleased that I bothered. Below I've carefully propped it up with a very green English Tomato which was to hand ripening on our windowsill to better illustrate its origin. The shard is as big has my hand and has a shiny brown glaze on the inside and traces of a thin glaze on the outside. It took me a while to work out it was from a colander and that the little protrusion was in fact a foot - it was only when I came across the still life painting below that the penny dropped.
Mudlarking Find: 16th Century Earthenware Colander
It is probably redware, the texture is quite rough and you can spot large inclusions in the clay. The holes are uneven. I've read that pottery in the 16th century was expensive and only owned by the well to do, the rest using vessels and cooking equipment made of leather, wood or pewter. I wonder how common colanders were? Were they must have kitchen equipment for those who could afford them?
Still Life with Earthenware colander by Flemish Clara Peeters 1589- 1657
I can't end this post without reference to my surprise that this old still life was painted by a woman. Very little is known about her but she must have been pretty remarkable to have made it in 16th century. Apparently the painting is full of symbolism which is lost on our 21st century sensibilities, the fish represents Christ and are placed in the position of a cross, although I've read elsewhere is just represents abundance and has no moral or other subtext.