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Henri II Ware Ewer: EC.2-1940

An image of Lower part of a ewer

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Henri II Ware Ewer


Pottery: Unidentified French potter (Possibly)




Fine pale cream earthenware with applied, inlaid, and painted decoration under lead glaze.

Of half ovoid form with a slightly projecting rib, and four grotesque bearded male masks with gaping mouths at intervals round the rim. Four garlands are suspended from the masks, each of five linked bunches of fruit, flowers, and leaves applied in relief over the other decoration. The creamy-white ground is decorated with pale brown strapwork with inlaid brownish-black outlines, interlaced with inlaid brownish-black tendrils. This ground, with its decoration, was applied to the vessel, and fine lines breaking the design indicate where it was cut and shaped to fit. The beards of the masks are coloured brownish-yellow, and the garlands are coloured blue, green, brownish-yellow, and manganese. The interior has been painted pinkish buff. The vessel is supported on a later silver-plated metal, scrolled, and foliated tripod stand, with engraved ornament. The stand is secured to the vessel by means of wires passing through a hole in its base. The hole is covered by a wooden disk.


History note: Debruge-Duménil Collection; sold Paris, Hôtel Drouot, Bonnefons de Lavialle commissaire-priseur, 23 January - 12 March 1850, Catalogue des objets d'art qui composent la collection Debruge Duménil dont la vente aux enchères aura lieu à Paris . . ., lot 1150; Henry T. Hope; George Eumorfopoulos; sold Sotheby's, 6 June 1940, The Eumorfopoulos Collections, Catalogue of the collection of Persian Ceramics and Islamic Glass, Egyptian, Greek and Roman Antiquities, Choice Medieval and Renaissance works of Art etc. formed by the late George Eumorfopoulos Esq., p. 71, lot 229; purchased with the Glaisher Fund

Legal notes

Purchased with the Glaisher Fund

Place(s) associated

  • Paris ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1940-06-16) by Sotheby's


Mid 16th century
Henri II
Circa 1540 CE - 1560 CE


The place of manufacture of 'Saint-Porchaire' ware is uncertain. It was thought to have been made at Saint-Porchaire, near Bressuire (Deux-Sèvres). More recently Paris, and Fontainebleau have been considered. See Documentation

School or Style


Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colours
Bowl Diameter 13.5 cm Height 11.2 cm
Over Mask Height 20 cm
Including Mask Width 15.5 cm

Materials used in production

see Documentation Earthenware

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: oval paper label

  • Location: On wooden disk inside
  • Method of creation: Printed in black
  • Type: Label
  • Text: 2077
  • Location: Inside near the rim
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: EC.2-1940
Primary reference Number: 76904
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 15 December 2020 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Henri II Ware Ewer" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-05-28 14:34:05

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