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Late 1700s (or older) Large Stoneware ovoid Costrel Jug with handles and two spouts
Antique large stoneware jug with two incised slashes (maker’s marks) and distinctive exterior ribbing (exterior throwing rings) and dating from the mid to late 1700s or older (c1750 to 1800 period, hence c1775 mid-date). This jug has two spouts, a central main spout that is well formed with double rings (see all Photos) and a smaller side spout with a single ring lip. The interior and top of each spout appear to exhibit rich molasses brown alkaline glazes. Two large drips of alkaline glaze also run down one side from the main spout with one smaller drop superimposed over an older longer drip that was likely wiped off before placing in the kiln before firing since it exhibits only a trace or hollow outline. In addition to two spouts, this jug also originally had two strap handles although one of the handles was broken off some years ago and only its two attachment scars remain (see Photos). The interior of the jug therefore has an alkaline glaze while the exterior seems to have a variable salt glaze with some parts left dry due to kiln furniture and saggars.
This particular double spouted jug form is called a costrel and would have been used for drinking water, wine, cider or other beverage of choice. The large central spout would be sealed with a cork and the smaller side spout sealed with a wood peg tied to a string and connected to one of the handles. Costrels were produced by several Western European countries, particularly France, Spain, Portugal and Italy to name a few. Fragments of 16th and 17th century Costrels made of common redware, marbleized redware (white and green colored slips) and high fired earthenware occur on the earliest European colonial sites in North America. Some are glazed and others are unglazed (see Ivor Noel Hume, A Guide to Artifacts of Colonial America, published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1970, pages 76 to 78). The shape of some of these early ovoid costrels is rounded (ball like) while others are more pear-shaped with a spread foot or base (pedestal-like).
The costrel jug listed for sale here is probably from the 1750 to 1800 period based on its shape, two slash marks (thrower’s marks), variable exterior glaze and visible exterior throwing ridges. The slash marks were likely added by the potter as a way to mark his products and distinguish them from other throwers at the stoneware pottery. Sometimes, slash marks were also used by slaves as they produced wares on plantations in the 1700s, too. However, this costrel is probably French in origin and was produce in the Normandy region. The clay body is tan or light sand colored but since the kiln firing ended with a reduction heat, the body has a dark grey to black outer most rind (visible on the two broken handle scars and along the edge of the slightly protruding base. The color of the exterior varies from light pink to brown and the glaze various from a just a hint of salt vapor to a thicker brown smear to completely absent. The top section was probably covered by a another vessel (bowl) or a saggar and does not display any glaze other than the drips of alkaline glaze coming from the main spout as noted above.
Finally, this jug is constructed by throwing two parts separately and then joining them together by luting. The seam joining the two parts is located about halfway between the jug’s top and its maximum diameter, but is not easily seen. This luted joint is just below the line created by the brown glaze and can be felt by running ones fingers done from the spout to the shoulder. The two spouts were then added by punching holes into the top section and inserting the preformed spouts and subsequently smoothing the clay around each. The last photo shows this costrel next to two other large unglazed antique earthenware vessels for comparison only (a large redware water bottle, and a singled handled terra cotta amphora; neither of the other two vessels are for sale here). Only the costrel shown all by itself in the first eight photos is for sale in this listing. So if you are looking for a nice antique Normandy stoneware double spouted jug, called a costrel, and dating from the late 1700s (or older), then make sure you seriously consider this one while it is still available. And as always, this jug also comes with my Docs Antiques 100% satisfaction guarantee or you may return it using my return policy for a refund (see full Return Policy details farther below).
SIZE: This costrel jug stands about 12 1/2 inches tall and has a maximum diameter of about 9 1/2 inches across. The base has a diameter of about 6 1/8 inches. The large central spout has an internal diameter of about 3/4 inches and outer rim diameter of about 1 3/8 inches across. This costrel is a perfect size for displaying on the floor, next to a fireplace or doorway, on a table, shelf or counter and will certainly capture attention and conversation in most any setting.
CONDITION: This costrel is in very good condition with just one declaration to mention, its broken and missing handle. Since the other handle is intact, one could have a restorer duplicate the extant handle and add the restored handle to the missing spot, however, such effort is really not necessary since the antique jug displays well as the photos reveal. Besides, many collectors prefer unaltered antiques to restored wares when all things are considered equally. And beyond this one declaration, the jug has no other defects and no chips, hairlines, major stains, major scratches and of course no repairs or restorations. Of course, if the buyer is not completely satisfied, then she/he may return this costrel for a refund (see our refund policy noted below).
SHIPPING: This large jug weighs 8 1/2 lbs empty and when double packed, the total boxed weight will be about 11 lbs or so. Therefore, all US mainland buyers pay $21.60 for well packed and insured USPS Ground (this is an estimated savings of about $3 to $7 since insurance and tracking are also INCLUDED in this quoted amount for all mainland US addresses). A faster shipping method is also offered on the shipping menu (see USPS Priority mail option). No handling or packing fees are ever charged. All international buyers will pay only the exact shipping costs for all verifiable locations outside the continental US mainland. We only use the USPS for International shipping to reduce broker fees and some Custom’s charges when an item is over 100 years old. Also, we always encourage the International buyer to select an International shipping option that also provides insurance against loss or damage, and ask the International customer to send us their address for an email quote covering all insured International shipping options to your location. To date, we have shipped fragile items to 28 countries around the globe and have not had any items lost or broken, however this fact does not guarantee that no postal mishandling will ever occur in the future. Also, please note that International import duties, taxes and other charges are not included in the item price or shipping costs and these additional charges are the Buyer's responsibility. We do offer a petition for VAT relief on the behalf of the buyer which may help reduce certain import taxes should your country allow such petitions for items over 100 years old. Please check with your country's customs office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to purchasing this item -- thanks.
RETURN POLICY: Satisfaction and peace of mind are guaranteed for all Docs Antiques Ruby Lane listings -- please refer directly to our Service Pledge and our Return Policy for full details. And this means that if the buyer is unhappy with the purchase, then she/he may return it by sending the item back undamaged and post marked within fourteen days of original receipt for a refund (certain shipping costs are non-refundable). Items damaged by shipping in the US are covered by insurance and while this rarely happens because we double pack, we will gladly help you file your insurance claim should it ever be necessary (we have not had any claims for damage or loss due to poor packing in over nine years). Of course, never send an item back that has been damaged by shipping since that will void the original insurance. Instead, contact us for help and we will gladly assist.
PAYMENT OPTIONS: We accept checks on US Banks (no temporary checks, all checks must have 9 digit routing code; item ships after check fully clears), USPS money orders, PayPal, or contact us with your verified address for more options. If you wish to use a credit card by way of PayPal, that option becomes available after you submit a Ruby Lane purchase order (see Terms of Sale for additional information). Once submitted, a PayPal icon will appear at the bottom of this listing and then you may proceed from there if you wish to pay via PayPal. Thanks for looking and do come back and visit again when you have the time.
Docs INV: RL775.a1885
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Dr. Moir, Frisco, TX
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