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Mug with Seal of Jan Op de Kamp

ca. 1664
Origin: Germany, Frechen
Overall: 4 1/4 x 5 x 5 7/16in. (10.8 x 12.7 x 13.8cm)
Stoneware, salt-glazed, brown
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 2002-2
Short, globular, brown stoneware mug with applied relief medallion opposite loop handle and three impressed sprig motifs on short, plain neck. Seal is of Jan Op de Kamp.

The seal contains the merchant mark and initials 'IODK' for the Frechen merchant Jan op de Kamp who shipped wine and stoneware between Cologne and Dordrecht in the Netherlands.
Label:Made in Frechen, Germany, this circa 1664 brown stoneware mug is illustrative of the complex trade networks in place between the Netherlands, Germany, England and the American colonies during the late-seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The mug bears the seal of Dutch merchant Jan op de Kamp who shipped wine and stoneware between Germany and England. Despite their Continental origins, vessels embellished with Jan op de Kamp's seals found their way to Virginia via the English Channel ports. Versions of this seal have been found archaeologically at a pottery site in Frechen, as well as in the city of London and at a mid-seventeenth century site on the Chesapeake in Virginia.

In addition to long-necked mugs, squat examples like this one have also been found in archaeological excavations dating to the first half of the seventeenth century. Such mugs invariably feature a compressed spherical body and short neck, usually embellished with impressed floral. or geometric motifs. Intact examples and fragments of this now scarce form have been recovered from the Dutch West India Company’s Fort Orange site in New York and the Byrd Liebhart site in York County, Pennsylvania. In their overall shape, these compact drinking vessels are the forerunners of the Westerwald gray and blue mugs and the English gorge.

A bottle with an undated variant of this seal has been found in the City of London, and another survives in the collections of the Foundation Keramion in Frechen.

A similar dated seal (1664) has been excavated from a c. 1620-70 settlement on the Chesapeake in Virginia.
Provenance:Purchased from Wilkinson American Art and Antiques, Spring Hope, NC ***
Mark(s):Seal of Jan Op de Kamp.***