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Inkwell in the form of a model stove

Key data

Winterthur, end 17th century

Faience with painting in 'high temperature' pigments

height 27.5 cm, width 22 cm, depth 22.7 cm

Inv. 1923.42.


The ceramics factories at Winterthur, in which table and oven ceramics were produced from about 1550 until about 1730, were famous for their sumptuous tower¬stoves for use in luxuriously equipped rooms in eastern Switzerland (see no. 400). Stove models were generally used to illustrate the factory's products or as three¬dimensional maquettes of stoves to be made. But two models are also known from the Winterthur factories that were intended to be used as receptacles for ink and writing sand: one, dated 1641, is in the Schweizerisches Landesmuseum in Zurich; the other, shown here, represents a later type with blossoms, hanging fruit, allegorical figures and genre images. On two of its pilasters its function is humorously alluded to in words and pictures: "Vor Mittag will/ geistlich sein./ Nach Mittag gehn/ sy zum Wein" (before midday you're fond of thinking/ after midday you're off to drinking); and "Trinken macht oft/ class man schreiben/ und/ studieren/ lasset bleiben" (drinking oft has the effect/ that script and study you neglect).

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