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Shakespeare Connected - Marking Time in Shakespeare’s England


This jug was dated 1576 to commemorate a marriage or anniversary. The trio of letters, ‘E VH’ are the initials of the couple - the ‘E’, denotes their surname and ‘V H’ their first names. The story of Adam and Eve eating fruit from the Tree of Knowledge was a popular choice for decorative wares celebrating a marriage, like this. Moreover, the jug was more likely to be used for ceremonial occasions than everyday life. Communal drinking featured in rituals associated with betrothals and marriages. Outside of special occasions the jug could be displayed in the home, the date helping it to act as a material memory of an extraordinary moment.


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