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Norwich silver serpentine jug Arthur Haselwood I

Accession Number NWHCM : 1944.92


Norwich silver mounted Serpentine jug by Arthur Haslewood I; deep silver lip-band with reeded lower edge; a band of silver encircles the body connecting with a vertical strap from the spout; the projecting foot mount has a scalloped upper border; the scroll handle with bifurcated thumbpiece and the flat single-stepped lid are also of silver

Read MoreNorwich silver serpentine jug Arthur Haselwood I

This beautiful beer jug is made of green serpentine marble. The major source of this type of marble is in Germany so it was not uncommon for European vessels to be made of this material, but it was less usual in England. This is the only known example of a serpentine jug mounted in Norwich silver.

Arthur Haslewood and his family were important seventeenth-century Norwich goldsmiths. They must have been asked to create this piece as a special order. The client may have brought back the marble body of the jug from a trip abroad to have the mount made at home.

Serpentine, named for its snake-like patterned green surface, was prized for its aesthetic appeal, but also because it was believed to have powers to protect against poison. This connection probably arose from its supposed resemblance to a snake. It was used for drinking vessels from the medieval period onwards for this reason.

Artist Haselwood, Arthur
Creation Date 1650
Material silver
Measurements 146 mm
Department Art-Decorative Art
Inscription AH in shaped shield for Arthur Haselwood I

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