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Archive for Rye Flagon

Rye Flagon

Rye Flagon Sussex Pottery
Amongst our collection of Antique Sussex Pottery we have an important documentary Rye Flagon inscribed with the name Moses Roots and dated 1846. This pot would have been made at the Cadborough pottery, Rye by William Mitchell or one of his sons Frederick or Henry; it is inscribed underneath Rye pottery.

It is a known fact that these so called ‘ Harvest wares’ were filled with either beer or cider and on long hot summer days when there was arduous reaping to be done were taken to the field and used to quench the thirst of those working there.

Sometimes such vessels were borrowed from the local pub and some had witty rhymes inscribed upon them reminding the borrower that they needed to be returned at the end of the day. (This on behalf of the landlord was a creative way of drumming up business!)

My initial impression of our Flagon was that it was so elaborate that it must have had some sort of commemorative meaning. So it was a surprise to learn that Moses Roots was listed in the 1841 census as living in Wish Street, Rye where his occupation was given as an agricultural labourer.

Moses was married in Rye on the 21st July 1839 to Caroline Burchett who was the daughter of William Burchett. They had a daughter Victoria Harriett Roots who was born in 1840 – Moses died in 1854.

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Acquisitions of Sussex Pottery

The Gods of Pots have seen fit to favour me with a small group of Sussex Pottery and principal among ‘These Gifts’ is an important documentary -Rye Flagon- inscribed and dated ‘Moses Roots Sept. 1846’ These Deity’s naturally aware of my predilection for rhymes have bestowed upon this flagon amongst a galaxy of stars, all conceived in printers type the following lines :-

Steal not this bottle dishonest friend,
For fear the gallows should be your end,
But if you do may conscience say,
Take back the bottle you stole away:

This is an exceptional and important piece of Sussex Pottery elaborately decorated and enriched with Rhyme and stars and green Jeweling. A pot we feel privileged to be the temporary custodians of.

An exceedingly pretty and early -Spirit Flask- has also wheedled its way into our affections, of circular form it has a radiating pattern composed of verigated clays and is heavily daubed with iron particles, combined together these features create a lovely golden hue. This swirling pattern it bears is normally associated with one of the -Burgess Hill- Potteries.

Also purchased was a small – agate beaker- and matching -saucer- which was most probably made at -Benjamim Ware and Sons- Pottery at Uckfield.

The final piece is an extremely rare -Slipware Honey Jar- with Scraffito decoration which I believe emanates from the Silver Hill or High Halden Potteries. It is conceived in the naturalistic/rustic style popularized by John Pelling who was the foreman at the Silver Hill Works. Though his work was mostly unglazed he did produced glazed pieces as well. Interestingly he had married the owners daughter [Polly Tree] in 1851 and a romantic legend recalls that his rustic tree-bark style was developed in homage to her!
This particular pot has a label beneath it that says:-

Sussex Slipware Honey Pot
Circa 1860. cost 20/- 4-10-54
G.H. Clarke

This pot has an irregular shaped slab built lid which although original would seem to rule it out as a Tobacco Jar and leads me to believe that it could in fact be as categorized on the label -A Sussex Honey Pot-

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