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.

Cataloguing data may change with further research.

If you have questions about this work of art or the MFAH Online Collection please contact us.

Manufactured by Worcester Porcelain Manufactory, English, established 1751
Dry Mustard Pot
c. 1758
Soft-paste porcelain
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
Accession Number

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