Swollen baluster jug, with projecting sparrow beak lip and plain loop handle. Transfer-printed in overglaze black on side to left of handle, with circular medallion containing scene from the Commedia del Arte, comprising Columbine and Harlequin in a garden, seated beneath stone pedestal and urn, Columbine playing a lute, surprised by Pierot and unnamed figure to right, Pierot carrying a sword. Scene picked out in blue, green, orange, yellow and pink enamels. Two birds amongst flowering foliage overhead, picked out in coloured enamels, inscription below reading 'THE LOVERS SURPRIZ'D / Nor silent love nor sylvan grove can screen, From jealous fears & watchful prying spleen, / Nor yet can Harlequin in evil hours, Preserve fair Columbine from Pierots powers.'. Side to right of handle printed with medallion enclosing second scene, of Columbine taken forcefully by Pierot and unnamed figure, Pierot raising his sword towards Harlequin standing to left with long staff held aloft. Wreath and flowering stems overhead, inscription below reading 'THE LOVERS PARTED / Fair Colombine thy prayers are in vain, For Harlequin and thou must part, / Stern Pierots thou cant obtain, To join the padner of thy hart.'. Narrow brown enamelled bands to foot and neckrim, anthemion motif to handle, red enamelled inscription beneath lip reading 'IOHN WILLCOCK / Moss Side / With Loyalty / God Save the King / 1797'. Discoloured cream coloured earthenware body, with heavily crazed yellowish glaze.

Display Label

Manchester's pride in itself has never wavered. Walk the streets, absorb its past and present. Impressive buildings and landmarks evoke the power and vitality of the historic city. The scale and grandeur of the city's ambitions are evident in the design of the Town Hall. Its striking appearance declared Manchester to be the greatest textile city in the world. Manchester was always first with inventions. Since the IRA bomb in 1996, the city itself has been reinvented. Today Mancunians can take fresh pride in the successful rebuilding of the city.

Object Name


Date Created

1797 (circa)


Length: 23.7cm
Object: 26.3cm x 17.7cm

accession number


Place of creation







© Manchester Art Gallery

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