Mocha ware mug with marbled and combed slip, c.1780

This wonderfully graphic mug was made in England in the late 1700s. It is decorated with marbled and combed slip in shades of brown, tan, and cream, reminiscent of French marbled paper. It stands 5 inches high and has an opening diameter of 3.25 inches. The metal replacement handle, most likely made by an itinerant metalsmith in the 19th century, has developed a warm patina over the past 150+ years, which compliments the decoration nicely.

I purchased this mug at auction, along with a few other pieces, which were originally in the collection of Jonathan Rickard, renowned mocha ware expert and author of Mocha and Related Dipped Wares, 1770-1939. He says of this mug “The marbled & combed mug came from a British dealer and it originated around 1775-1782 based on wastes from the William Greatbatch excavation.” Thank you Jonathan for your devotion, thorough research, and love of all things mocha.

This mug, with similar form and decoration, suggest what the original handle on mine might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of Skinner

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2 Responses to “Mocha ware mug with marbled and combed slip, c.1780”

  1. Martyn Edgell says:

    Dear Andrew, I was the English dealer and it stood on one of my shelves at home for many years. Initially I regretted selling it to Jonathan, but now I realise the more people able to appreciate this mug the better. It still sends shivers up my spine and in my opinion its the best piece of mocha i have ever had the privilege of owning

  2. Jonathan Rickard says:

    Over the last 30 years or so, I’ve assembled a marbled & combed slip-decorated creamware teapot, coffee pot, cream jug, footed hot water jug, sucrier, waste bowl, tea canister, and condiment jar, though none required inventive repairs. Together, they are being donated to Historic Deerfield where they’ll be displayed (presumably on a Queen Ann tea table) in one of the period rooms in a historic house, achieving the point made by Martyn.

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