Locally produced mustard was a popular staple in 18th-century English households. Many porcelain factories produced dry-mustard pots for storage and service at the dining table, and the Rienzi Collection contains a rare example made by Worcester Porcelain Manufactory, which paired the dry-mustard pot form with Asian decoration. For much of its history, London was the center of England's spice trade, supplying both rare and common spices for the upper and middle classes. Beginning in the early 1400s, mustard could be produced locally rather than being imported, and it became one of the least expensive and most widely available spices. Worcester and other porcelain factories responded by making mustard pots. This pot features asymmetrically scrolling vines and flowers rendered in a Chinese color palette called famille rose, and the lid is decorated with a flying stork, the Chinese symbol of longevity.


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Manufacturer
Manufactured by Worcester Porcelain Manufactory, English, established 1751
Title
Dry Mustard Pot
Date
c. 1758
Medium
Soft-paste porcelain
Dimensions
o/a: 5 1/8 × 2 1/8 × 2 1/8 inches (13.0 × 5.4 × 5.4 cm) .A pot: 3 × 2 1/8 × 2 1/8 inches (7.6 × 5.4 × 5.4) .B lid: 1 15/16 × 1 7/8 × 1 7/8 inches (4.9 × 4.8 × 4.8 cm)
Credit Line

The Rienzi Collection, museum purchase funded by Mr. and Mrs. Harris Masterson III

Current Location
Rienzi
GALLERY
Accession Number
92.447.A,.B
Classification
Ceramics
Provenance

Private collection, U.K.; [Simon Spero, London]; purchased by MFAH, 1992.