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Handpainted copper lustreware jug

Date made: late 19th century

Description: A handpainted copper lustreware jug with a blue, yellow and white floral design, which would have been hung on a Manx dresser in the 19th century.

The surface of copper lustreware is highly reflective, so in cottages and farmhouses the contents of the dresser would have glowed and reflected brightly the light of the fire, candles or oil lamp in a kitchen.

The centrepiece of a Manx cottage was the large dresser, which would have been filled with brightly coloured decorative crockery and ornaments, such as blue and white china, hand-painted ‘rosy’ basins and copper lustre jugs. This would have been the ‘best china’ used for decoration and occasionally for special meals such as when the Minister or Vicar came for tea. Although most of the items in the cottage would have been made locally by either the joiner or blacksmith, the ‘best’ crockery would be bought at a local market or from a travelling salesman. The contents of the dresser were a source of pride and a visible sign of ‘conspicuous consumption’ to show the neighbours how much disposable income an occupant had left once they had paid the rent and fed the family. To ensure good luck for the family’s fortunes, all the jugs should be hung in one direction facing the 'chiollagh' (open hearth) and away from the door, so all the good luck stays in the house.

Measurements: overall: 20 cm x 13 cm x 16 cm

Materials: ceramic

Object name: jug

Collection: Social History Collection

ID Number: 1954-5279b

Subject tags : SHIC 2.666 - Food, drink and tobacco, Serving, eating and drinking


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