Posset Pot, ca. 1695
13 × 11 in. (33.02 × 27.94 cm)
Gift of Virginia and Robert V. Krikorian M1987.47a,b
Photo credit: John R. Glembin
By the time this example was made in the 1690s, posset pots had become potent symbols of wealth and taste that were prominently displayed in English homes. The blue and white decoration featuring birds and flowers imitated imported Chinese porcelain and appealed to the Western taste for exotic Eastern design. The vessel’s unusual shape was designed to accommodate a mixture of hot spiced milk curdled with wine or ale, called posset. The froth of the brew rose to the top of the pot and the strawlike spout allowed drinkers to suck up the liquid from the bottom. The lid kept the concoction warm and the double handles allowed it to be passed from one person to the next around a table.
Fortin, Sylvain. Panoramas: History and Citizenship Education : Cycle Two. Montréal: Graficor, 2008, p. 112, fig. 81, color illus.
Andera, Margaret, Nonie Gadsden, Britt Salvesen, and Laurie Winters. Collection Guide: Milwaukee Art Museum. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, 2004, pp. 26, 69, cat. 37, color illus. p. 26.
Ward, Gerald W., and Brock W. Jobe. American Furniture With Related Decorative Arts, 1660 - 1830: the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Layton Art Collection. New York: Hills Press, 1991, p. 93, cat. 35, b/w illus. p. 93.
This information is subject to change as the result of ongoing research.