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Decorative Arts and Design

The unusual imagery on this jug of coiling snakes, frogs, and turtles intended to suggest the nightmarish delirium brought on by alcohol abuse. Such vessels are illustrative of the temperance movement in the United States in the nineteenth century—which was second only to slavery as a burning social issue. The best known of these vessels were produced by Warren V. Kirkpatrick at the Anna Pottery in Illinois and probably influenced the potter of jug.

CULTURE American
MEDIUM Earthenware
  • Possible Place Made: Ohio, United States
  • DATES 1860–1880
    DIMENSIONS Height: 11 in. (27.9 cm) Diameter of base: 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Unmarked
    ACCESSION NUMBER 44.1.20a-b
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Arthur W. Clement
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Slip glazed red earthenware jug (a) with cover (b). Jug: grotesque, so-called Delirium Tremens, applied design of snakes, frogs, and men. Cover in form of frog. Condition: Good
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION American. Jug, 1860–1880. Earthenware, Height: 11 in. (27.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Arthur W. Clement, 44.1.20a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 44.1.20a-b_PS1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 44.1.20a-b_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2005
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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