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Mug, 1700–1710
London, England
Salt-glazed stoneware with polychrome enamel and silver mount
Lent by a private collection

London enamellers often mixed Chinoiserie motifs with indigenous English imagery. Exuberant floral bouquets with miniature versions of the mythical "hoho" bird appear on two sides of the large stoneware mug seen here. These exotic motifs lent a stylish flare to the primary decoration: a European cityscape that circles the base and a large pine tree with the words "Je ne change jamais"—French for "I never change." The phrase, which alludes to the constant quality of evergreen trees, may have been the motto of a family, organization or particular town.

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