Lot 696
  • 696


4,000 - 6,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • height 3 1/2 in.
  • 8.9 cm
formed as three conjoined bulbs with entwined rope handles.


Joseph V. Vizcarra Collection, Chicago, January, 1977
Vogel Collection no. 256

Catalogue Note

There are various suggestions for the contemporary use of fuddling cups although there is no evidence to support any of the hypothesis. One made by Michael Archer in Delftware, The Tin-glazed Earthenware of the British Isles, London, 1997, p. 256, is that each container was most likely filled with a different liquor and the drinker was challenged to identify the contents after they were mixed. Further to this, the drinker was most likely "fuddled" (confused) about the consumed amount of liquor, drinking it from the relatively small-sized container, unaware of the deceiving, conjoined nature of the vessel. Another suggestion is made by F. H. Garner and Michael Archer in English Delftware, London, 1972, p. 13, that they may have been also used as flower vases. The form also exists with four conjoined containers.

Michael Archer mentions in Delftware in the Fitzwilliam Museum, London, 2013, p. 190, that the Slater Collection has a glazed, undecorated cup "found on the Thames foreshore in Southwark" and biscuit examples were excavated at Platform Wharf in Rotherhithe. 

Two similar examples decorated with an oriental or flower design are attributed to London, probably Southwark, and are illustrated by Archer, ibid., cat. no. D2 and D3, p. 256. A similar undecorated example is illustrated by Frank Britton, English Delftware in the Bristol Collection, London, 1982, p. 47, cat. no. 2.2; and two others in Michael Archer, ibidp. 189, cat. no. D.4.

A similar example from the Bertram K. and Nina Fletcher Little Collection was sold at Sotheby's New York, October 21 1994, lot 487. Another from the John Philip Kassebaum Collection, was sold at Sotheby's London, October 7, 1992, lot 17.