I Was Looking For The Moon Under Water Mug… Again


So, you recall that I bought that rather swell Wedgewood 1940s sage green tankard? I seem to have caught a bit of a fever. And there is only one cure for that… a tankard you can play like a cowbell. For the record, here is the information which came with the online listing:

This quart mug which is of quart capacity, dates to around 1840, and is by the well known Birmingham makers Yates & Birch, whose mark is to the right hand side of the handle above “QUART”. There are three verification marks below the rim, two of which are a crowned VR over HB above H (Haslingden in Lancashire – see Marks and Marking of Weights and Measures of the British Isles – Ricketts & Douglas). ). There are two wrigglework cartouches to the front of the body which read “P. Pollard, Talbot Hotel” and “Old Talbot 1626”. The inscriptions suggest the mug was originally used in the Talbot Hotel, Oundle in Northamptonshire which was rebuilt in 1626, using stone and a staircase from the ruins of nearby Fotheringhay castle. Mary Queen of Scots was executed at the castle in 1587 which led to it being subsequently demolished by Mary Queen of Scots’ son and grandson. How the mug acquired verification marks for Haslingden in Lancashire remains a mystery. The mug is in good condition with general wear commensurate with age (see images) but no splits, holes or repairs, and would make a great display piece.

A mystery. Neato. Came in the mail today. Picked up at eBay, it ended up being $75 bucks all in for door to door delivery across the ocean. Best of all, it is a quart with plenty of interesting markings indicating that it was from this still functioning hotel in Northamptonshire from perhaps the 1840s. Definitely marked for the Victorian era. But it is old pewter so I may have to do a bit more research before I make it my primary drinking tankard. Never cared much for the look around the gills of any Victorians I have run across. But it does pose the prospect that a few more could be acquired with a good chance of having a thinking persons quart tankard drinking association. Extra points for showing up with one like this.

One thought on “I Was Looking For The Moon Under Water Mug… Again”

  1. [Original comments…]

    Craig – May 22, 2012 8:35 PM

    Alan – May 22, 2012 9:50 PM
    Looks like Yates and Birch operated under that name only from 1839 to 1857.

    Ethan – May 23, 2012 12:28 AM
    “This quart mug which is of quart capacity”? How novel!

    Martyn Cornell – May 23, 2012 3:10 AM
    Excellent – and C$75 is a good price, the quart pewter pot I have (which is perhaps 50 years younger, though still Victorian) cost me £50, IIRC. Those quart tankards are the ones you see everybody drinking out of in Hogarth’s Beer Street, of course – everyone except the pawnbroker, who is being handed a pint by the potboy through the door of his tumbledown shop, because on prosperous Beer Street nobody has any need to pawn anything, unlike in Gin Lane, so a pint is all he can afford. The quart seems to have been the usual English (working glass) pub measure until the First World War, judging by the way the name for the public bar was the “four-ale” bar, based on the price of a “pot” or quart of mild, four pence.

    Alan – May 23, 2012 7:37 AM
    Here’s an even larger scale image of Beer Street with, yes, plenty of pots in view. Hadn’t noticed the whole “book” imagery. There are a pile of abandoned books outside the pawnbrokers window while there are plenty of other forms of written word being associated with beer.

    Alan – May 30, 2012 8:39 AM
    In 2011, Martyn shared what one could find in a quart pot.

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