Tigerware Jug, 1579-1580, Salt-glazed stoneware with silver-gilt mounts; 24.1 x 15.2 x 14 cm (9 1/2 x 6 x 5 1/2 inches), Museum Works of Art Fund 47.625
Tigerware is an English term for the mottled-brown glazed stoneware made along the Rhine in Germany. Unlike glass, a simple stoneware jug could be acquired quite cheaply and was the common drinking vessel in England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. About the mid-sixteenth century, it became fashionable to mount elaborate metalwork handles, covers, and straps on the common stoneware jug. A London goldsmith who used the stamp —- I.C.—- gave this example a gilt silver cover and base. Heraldic shields with lion masks alternating with clusters of fruit decorate the sides and top, while a winged merman serves as the thumbpiece.