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Robert Burns

Delft jug decorated with scenes from Tam O'Shanter

19th Century

This large fawn coloured jug is decorated with relief moulding, depicting scenes from the poem, "Tam O'Shanter" by Robert Burns.


Burns wrote the poem "Tam O'Shanter" as a 'witch story' to accompany the illustration of Alloway Kirk which was to be published by his friend, Captain Francis Grose in his 'Antiquities of Scotland'.  It is both comic and epic, telling the story of Tam's encounter with a coven of witches on his ride home from a night's drinking at the inn.  Tam leaves the comfort of the inn and happens upon a coven of witches dancing in the ruins of the old church at Alloway.  The witches give chase; Tam only just escapes but his horse Maggie loses her tail.


The handle of the jug represents the arm grasping the tail.  

Place of Production:
Church Works, Hanley, Staffordshire
ceramic, earthenware
height 260mm, diameter (base) 145mm, width (top) 230mm
Robert Burns House, Dumfries
Accession number:
Digital Number:
Creation Date:
1st October 1835
Dumfries & Galloway Council

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