This Sussex Pilgrim Flask was made at the very end of the 18th century at the Chailey Potteries. A period around the turn of the century saw a lighter clay being used for the body which was then decorated with a darker slip.
There are at least two examples of this at the Hastings Museum, one of them a puzzle-jug dated to 1795 has similar trailing garlands of oak leaves to ours. On both sides our flask has central medallions decorated with sprigs of oak and its circumference decorated with panels of trailing oak leaves and acorns – their edges finished with a saw-tooth pattern the same as the Hastings puzzle-jug.
|Images courtesy of the Hastings Museum
There has been a long tradition at Chailey of embellishing pottery with oak leaves and acorns and confirming this there are a number of examples illustrated in Manwaring-Baines book on Sussex Pottery. This Flask is a rare survivor and remains in fantastic, untouched condition.