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Puzzle jug

English, probably London (either Lambeth Pottery or Rotherhithe Pottery), 1686. Tin-glazed earthenware, with pierced body containing a two-headed bird.

Puzzle jugs provided entertainment across early modern Europe with players attempting to drink the jug’s contents (normally wine or ale) without spilling any from its many holes and spouts. This English delftware jug is trickier than others. To gain suction, a secret hole under the handle must be covered with a finger. Though usually owned by inns and taverns, this jug is personalized with the initials of a couple (P over N and M) and the date 1686, and may commemorate their marriage.

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Cat. no. 65

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