ca. 1880Unidentified factoryProbably Staffordshire, England; possibly Americanred stoneware with enamel glaze

Gift from the Estate of Christopher P. Monkhouse


In ancient cultures terracotta, or baked red clay, was used to create a wide range of objects from small household wares to monumental red- and black-figure amphora and other vessels. In 19th century England and the United States, potters developed their own wares to meet demand for classically inspired redwares. All ancient cultures were open for interpretation, as expressed in this pitcher with enamel decoration of winged lions, a symbol that spans cultures and centuries. Here, winged lions against a blue tiled ground resemble those found in the Ishtar Gate, built by King Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon about 575 BCE. 

—Laura Fecych Sprague