Rare 18th Century French Glazed Terracotta Cruche du Quercy or Walnut Oil Jug
A large 18th century French glazed terracotta cruche du Quercy or walnut oil jug having great sculptural form and artisan quality, handmade by a talented potter in Quercy, a former province in southwest France, circa mid 1700s. This rare glazed earthenware jug with its round shaped belly, three arching looped handles, pouring spout with handle, and vertical strips formed by the potter pressing into the clay with his fingertips and imprinting lines, features a bluish green glaze. The lack of glazing on the handles was possibly done for a better grip or perhaps a trademark of the particular potter. A beautiful decorative piece, this rare French cruche, used to store walnut oil, is highly collectible and will be a fabulous addition to any pottery collection.
During the 18th century, the main source of energy to light everything from castles to cathedrals and humble homes to lights on the streets, was walnut oil. It was used to fuel lamps, hence the importance of oil jug storage capacity. Provincial potters would compete against one another for technical talent, originality, and trademark in the production of these practical yet decorative utilitarian jugs that were an indispensable utensil in each household to store walnut oil for household lighting. From the mid-19th century, due to the import of lighting fuel and the discovery of tin, tin and zinc pitchers replaced the clay jugs, which fell into disuse. These obsolete jugs were rediscovered after the Second World War and have since become a part of France's cultural heritage and a testimony to a craft that has died out.
h - 15"
diameter - 12.5"
base - 8 "
mouth - 4.5 "
TAGS: Rare 18th Century French Glazed Terracotta Cruche du Quercy or Walnut Oil Jug, Antique French Glazed Terracotta Walnut Oil Jug, French Walnut Oil Jug, Antique French Walnut Oil Jug, French Pottery, Cruche du Quercy, French Earthenware, Utilitarian, Accessories, Kitchen