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Feast & Fast

The Art of Food in Europe, 1500 – 1800

47: Butter dish, cover with cow-knob, and stand, all with trellis pattern

By the mid-eighteenth century, Cambridge was a hub through which a staggering 90,000 firkins (1 firkin = 56 lbs, or 25 kgs) of butter were dispatched annually to London from Norfolk, south Lincolnshire, and the Isle of Ely, salted and packed in earthenware pots or wooden tubs. Ceramic factories responded to a nationwide increased demand for it by producing pots for meat and fish preserved in butter, as well as small boats for melted butter, and dishes for use at table. As here, cows were often included on the lid to indicate the contents hidden beneath.

Probably Staffordshire, England, c.1755–70 Salt-glazed stoneware

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest (C.560 & A & B-1928)

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