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Mug: C.101-2015

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Factory: Humphrey Palmer's Factory (Possibly)




White salt-glazed stoneware mug with scratch-blue floral decoration

Off-white stoneware with incised decoration coloured with cobalt blue (scratch-blue decoration) and salt-glazed. Cylindrical with slightly everted rim, and a loop handle with a small kick at the lower end. Decorated on the front with a spray of stylized flowers and foliage in scratch-blue technique. There are two blue spots on opposing sides of the base.


History note: Mrs W.D. (Frances Louisa) Dickson, Bournemouth; Sir Ivor and Lady Batchelor, St Andrew's, Fife; Sir Ivor died on 24 April 2005; on loan since 2006 (Syndicate of 30 January); Lady Batchelor, died 2014

Legal notes

Sir Ivor and Lady Batchelor Bequest through The Art Fund

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 5.3 cm
Height: 6.8 cm
Width: 7.8 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (2015-04-27) by Batchelor, Ivor, Sir and Lady


18th Century, Mid
George II
Circa 1750 CE - 1760 CE


Scratch blue decoration on white salt-glazed stoneware was intended to resemble Chinese blue and white porcelain, but the effect is very crude in comparison. Designs were created by incising them into the unfired object, then dusting cobalt oxide into the lines, and removing the surplus before firing and salt-glazing. Most of the designs are of flowers and foliage, with occasional representations of birds, animals, and human figures. Inscriptions, however, are common and dates range from 1742 to 1778. Scratch blue was produced by many potters in north Staffordshire, and for shorter periods in Bovey Tracey, Swansea, and Derby, where a Swedish traveller, R.R. Angerstein saw it being made in 1754. Apart from a mug incised with the name of the Hanley potter, Enoch Booth in 1742, it is rarely possibly to attribute Staffordshire scratch blue to a specific maker. The floral motif on this mug is similar in style, but not details, to fragments found on the site of a factory occupied by Humphrey Palmer in Hanley between 1750 and 1778, but it is not certain that it was made there.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of cobalt
Surface composed of salt-glaze

Materials used in production

off-white Stoneware

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: Frances L./Dickson
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Hand-written in faded black ink
  • Type: Label

Inscription present: rectangular white paper stick-on label

  • Text: 50
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Hand-written in black ink
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.101-2015
Primary reference Number: 206786
Old object number: 50
Entry form number: 648
Old loan number: AAL.101-2006
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Tuesday 15 September 2015 Updated: Monday 25 March 2019 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Mug" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-16 01:12:04

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