Harvestware jug

Harvestware jug at Buckland Abbey

The harvest jug was often taken to the fields filled with cider to quench the thirst of the farm workers.

The earthenware jug was made by Able Symons in 1813 and is decorated with flowers and stags and has an inscription below the handle.

The inscription on the jug reads:
The Potter fashioned me complete, as
plainly doth appear for to supply the
harvest men with good strong English beer.
Drink round my Jolly reapers and when the
corn is cut we’ll have the other jug – and cry
A Neck, A Neck’

The harvest jug is an example of North Devon pottery, a strong, gravel-tempered ware, suitable for making large pots and pans used in kitchens and dairies.

The jug has been finished with a white slip (a cream-like paint which is made from fine clay and water) and coloured with a brown and greenstained glaze. The decoration is carved through the overlaid coat of white clay revealing the underlying red. The yellow slip was scratched away to reveal a brown glaze.

The style of scratched-in decoration is known as “sgraffito” which is used to decorate pottery. Sgraffito is a technique where two different layers of slip are applied to an unfired ceramic body.