A large and very rare agateware cradle with trailed slipware inscription: ‘M J + R 1856’. Hand built using slabs of clay for main cradle and rockers. The hood was wheel-thrown then cut before adding to the slab body. With wheel-thrown white clay finials (knops) on hood, sides and corners. There are applied white clay notched strips across the top of the hood, and the outer back edge of hood and cradle rim are incised with a deep straight notch pattern, the front edge of hood is ‘scalloped’. The agate ware body is a mixture of white clay and red clay, glazed with a yellowish iron-stained clear lead glaze. The underside is un-glazed.
There is strong stylistic evidence to attribute this large cradle to the Kitson family who potted at the Ainley Top and Woodman House potteries near Halifax, Yorkshire. This particular piece was probably by Edward Kitson. Made circa 1856. (See “Collector’s Book of English Country Pottery”, P. Brears (1944, p.48)).
Ceramic cradles were sometimes given as wedding presents to newly married couples and have traditional associations with fertility and good fortune.
Approx. 310mm long. 262mm highest point.
All four ends of the rockers are missing. Other very minor age related scratches and marks.