Jugs and Bottles
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Historical rabbit holes, for those who are inclined.
These slender booklets from Historical Management Associates are the work of an organization dedicated to historical re-enactment in the UK. They are written with a stickler’s attention to historical precision and a conviction that nothing is too arcane to investigate. Some of the books are simple transcriptions of period manuscripts; others represent significant original research, as in Cattle Farming and Grazing Management, which is 52 pages long but cites 36 sources, many of them published in the 17th century.
The Food and Cookery in Elizabethan and Early Stuart England series presents a systematic survey of existing records of ingredients and equipment employed in the period. In addition to concise explanations of how such items might have been used and how they might have been significantly different from what is implied by current terminology, they include citations from various period and later records to demonstrate the geographic and class distribution of everything from hops to decorative tankards.
This survey of drinking and serving vessels in the surviving historical record includes the best discussion of methodology in the Food and Cookery in Elizabethan and Early Stuart England series. It notes the dual contexts in which jugs and bottles, along with other drinking vessels [the subject of volume 17 in the series] were used: dining and drinking. And it highlights how the data historians have is often skewed by the survival of records for more valuable items that were intended as much for the display of wealth as for actual use.
Treated here are pewter pots; pottery pots; stone, earthen, and silver jugs; pitchers; tarred leather black jacks; metal and glass bottles; other specialty bottles such as those covered in wicker or made from wood; and corks and hampers.
Staplebound pamphlet. 60 pages. Sketches and black-and-white photographs.