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The Puzzle Jug

We recently added new images to one of our highly used collections, the Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture. In particular we added 52 new images to the Chipstone Ceramics Database. For those who are not familiar with the collection, the Chipstone Ceramics collection contains over 270 pieces of ceramic work dating from the 17th to early 19th century.

The image on the left features one of the new ceramic pieces in the collection. This puzzle jug is a very unique piece with a fun historical background. The puzzle jug is a communal drinking vessel that is passed from mouth to mouth as part of an 18th Century English drinking game. The name "puzzle" comes from the way in which the drinker would have to find a way to drink from the jug without spilling on himself. The only way to safely drink from this jug is to cover up everything except one of the spouts and a hidden hole on the handle. Not only is this piece fun, but creating it requires a large amount of skill.

Our Chipstone Ceramics image collection contains tons of pieces with these interesting backgrounds. We encourage you to browse the collection and learn a little something about the history of the objects that we live with everyday.

 

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