Jug 1834

I was made in Bristol.

Commissioned by a father for a son.

I am waist height.

I am amber and umber and all shades in between.

I am saltglazed-stoneware.

I am a container.

I am adorned with Italian sprigs

Their fine, detailed, relief clumsily laid like braces over middle aged spread.

Cherubs lean on Angels piled on Waterbearers balanced on Vines.

Grapes, pressed by the weight of crests and dismembered heads, refuse to yield their wine.

I am solid.

 

I am nearly two hundred years old.

I am a survivor;

Only a cracked handle and sprig figure have been given to time.

 

Tracks of rings signify the hand that made me.

Rees (or Reece’s) thumbprints bridge my beak like spout to my wide, sturdy, unfriendly rim.

 

Yet I am delicate,

Somewhere not readily found.

I have another opening,

An eight petaled, puckered flower

The colour of honey.

 

Inviting

The tap of a barrel

A spigot.

From which beer, goodwill, cheer and a fathers hope flowed.

On that one day.

 

Now here I sit in a museum.

A sculpture, objectified memory.

I can be touched.

I am touched.

Probed by sticky inquisitive fingers.

Grapes pressed and prodded.

Cherubs coveted.

Waterbearers violated.

Flowers plucked and pinched.

My hope replaced by fear

My cheer replaced with sorrow

My goodwill replaced for passivity

My beer replaced for two boiled sweets,

which unnoticed or ignored by the museum staff slowly ooze across my base.

 

I was made in Bristol.

I am a survivor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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