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Feast & Fast

The Art of Food in Europe, 1500 – 1800

63: Oval plaque

Oval plaque depicting coney catching rabbits

Rabbits were a popular food across Europe, and their skins provided useful additional income. Some wealthy English landowners ensured year-round supplies through estate warrens (‘coningerys’). Building a warren required a licence, money, and land on which great earth embankments were constructed, and sown with gorse or fenced off, to keep the rabbits in and poachers out. As this plaque shows, warreners (‘coningers’) would use ferrets or dogs to drive rabbits from these man-made burrows into nets stretched over the entrances. Unidentified Lambeth pottery, England, c.1735– 45 Scene copied from an etching by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607–77) after Francis Barlow’s ‘Coney Catching’ from Severall Wayes of Hunting, Hawking, and Fishing, According to the English Manner (London, 1671)

Tin-glazed earthenware

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest (C.1571-1928)

Oval plaque
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