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Image of Scratch Cross Pitcher

Worcester Porcelain Factory
English, born established 1751

Scratch Cross Pitcher

about 1754

Object Type: Ceramic
Creation Place: Northern Europe, English, Worcestershire
7 3/8 in. x 6 in. x Diam: 4 3/4 in. (18.73 cm x 15.24 cm x 12.07 cm)
Medium and Support: Porcelain
Accession Number: 1993.0003.0002

Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James Lucien Loeb

Currently On View

Rather than copying Chinese patterns exactly, Worcester adapted these designs to their own style and palette. Following the practice of nearly all early English porcelain, the main decorative scene of this jug is placed to the left of the handle.

Called chinoiseries, such designs are often compilations of Chinese elements. Here the pattern depicts Chinese figures within an interior setting. The colors were painted on top of a transfer-printed outline. A single stroke was incised into the base of the pitcher prior to firing, and thus the pitcher is called scratch cross ware. This kind of marked porcelain occurred only between about 1754 and 1756. The jug's V-shaped pouring lip is known as a "sparrow beak" form because it resembles the pointed beak of a sparrow.

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