COLLECTION: Ceramics

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Ball Belly Pitcher

ca. 1630
Origin: Europe, Germany, Westerwald
Overall: 8 1/2 x 3 3/4 x 5in. (21.6 x 9.5 x 12.7cm)
Stoneware, salt-glazed, gray with blue
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 2008-83
Salt-glazed stoneware spherical, flat-bottomed jug known as a ball-belly pitcher. A long neck extends from the bulbous body with a cordon near the top and an applied strap handle. Decorated with sprig-applied lions on either side of an applied armorial medallion, all of which are highlighted in cobalt blue. Stamped up-side-down hearts encircle the shoulder of the vessel where the body transitions into the neck.
Label:By the second half of the seventeenth century an even more diverse range of Westerwald stoneware was owned in the American colonies. One such form is the almost spherical, flatbottomed vessels like this one known in Germany by the descriptive term Kugelbauchkrug, or ball-belly pitcher. Like jugs, ball-belly pitchers were used for serving beer or wine. The broad, flatbases made them especially stable, and they are often depicted in Dutch genre paintings sitting on the floor or tables.
Provenance:Purchased from Edwin van Drecht, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.