The inscription in Dutch dated 1691 reads: ‘In our Dutch garden bloom oranges and roses’ – a reference to the Protestant ‘union’ of the Netherlands and Britain that followed the Glorious Revolution of three years earlier.
Beer jugs like this, either left in their natural drab colour of embellished with manganese and blue, were an early attempt by the Westerwald potters in Germany to establish a commercial export market in commemorative pottery. Similar jugs were made for subsequent British monarchs that had a wide appeal to Protestants across in Europe.
As was the common practice to many German stonewares, the jugs were fashioned with heavily flanged rims to accept hinged pewter lids. In practice, no mugs destined for England seem to have been mounted in metal.
This example, measuring 8in (20cm) high, was estimated at a modest £200-300 at the auction on February 11 but the final bid was £6000.
The buyer’s premium was 20%.
Rodney in delft
Close to a century later Anglo-French relations remained strained. An 18th century English (probably Bristol) delft plate inscribed Admiral Rodney For Ever. It commemorates the hero of the 1782 Battle of the Saintes when the French fleet was defeated in the Caribbean during the American War of Independence.
The 9in (23cm) diameter plate was cracked and riveted but, offered by the Truro rooms of Lodge & Thomas (15% buyer’s premium) on February 14 with a £100-150 estimate, it sold to a specialist dealer in early English ceramics at £1550.