Silver cream jug, England

Silver cream jug, England

Silver cream jug
England
About 1750
Museum no. M.248-1921

The handle of this cream jug is in the shape of a dragon or sea creature. Eastern traditions often associated dragons with water but in Christian cultures they symbolised the devil or temptation. Playful, writhing dragons, flowers, animals and shells were popular forms of decoration from the 1730s, a style known as Rococo. Taking milk or cream with tea was not an established convention in the 1730s and so cream jugs were designed individually in a variety of shapes. This example is a scaled-down version of the helmet-shaped ewer fashionable from around 1710. It is made of silver decorated with a thin layer of gold.