Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Medieval Anthropomorphic Jugs

Whilst some hanker after pilgrim badges or coins, the find I'd probably be most delighted by is from one of these 
Face Jug 1270-1310 (British Museum) 
a medieval jug with a face on it.  I rather like the 'proper' term for these too, a right mouthful, 'anthropomorphic' - which in this instance means pots with partial or complete depiction of human bodies. 
1301-1400 (Museum of London) 
Apparently these jugs were very popular in London, the ones above were made in one of the main towns supplying pottery to London in the 13th-15th centuries, Kingston. They tend to be quite small around 12cm.  Most jugs depict men with beards and they often seem to be tugging or stroking them. Their meaning has been lost over time, I like to think they embodied some irreverent joke. 
Kingston Anthropomorphic Jug 14th Century (Christies)  
As I packed away my finds and sifted through the old stuff, I pondered over one piece of decorated green glazed medieval pottery. I worked out the decoration  would have gone diagonally - I wonder, could it possibly be one of those arms?...
Mudlarking Find 
14th C (MetMuseum)


  1. What a treat that would be to find a piece of one of those.

  2. Anthropomorphic jugs are my absolute favorite! Such character in those faces. I reakon your shard could very well be one :) Lucky you!

  3. Very cool- almost modern looking.
    I wonder if this form may have evolved into the Bellarmine form?