mel jacobson on sun 19 feb 06
i think the mug, as a cup, was a naval item.
they needed strong, large based, thick cups
for ships galleys for rich dark coffee.
that is the design that has been around
for many years.
i have found a few
in restaurants in tiny towns. i have purchased a couple
of them. high quality porcelain..and strong enough
to pound nails. one large finger hole.
the best mug ever designed in my opinion.
that is the base design i have used for
my mugs for years.
i put one on my index page/click below.
Rick Hamelin on sun 19 feb 06
Today, we simplify our term for drinking wares and call them by mug or cup but what is missing in this discussion are those drinking wares and terms which have now faded into history.
Mugg is probably Scandinavian in origin, Mugg. New Dictionary 1979
One of my English reference sources states that: Mug was originally a term for all earthenware vessels including bowls, jugs, ewers and so on and those potters specializing in these were called mug-potters which continued into Georgian times.. The seller or hawker of these wares was called a mugger. Mug as used to describe a cylindrical drinking vessel with a handle dates to the mid-17th cent.
Another defined mug as a heavy drinking cup of earthenware or metal often ornamented with a human face. This also defined cup as being Middle English and Old English from Late Latin, cuppa, cupa, being from tub. Cups are described here as being a small, open container that is bowl shaped with a handle. Fournier described a cup as always having a saucer. Getting messy.
Now what about Stein? Literally meaning Stone in german, without mention of capacity. But we now associate it only with large mugs. In Germany, the stein is called a krug. This dictionary described our American definition of Stein as being an earthenware beer mug. So much for Cologne ware.
I think that it is also curious that cup is also a scale of measure. You never find recipes for a mug of flour. But Capacity Mug is the term I found in one book for an English stoneware ale measure of the late 17th century, later made from Mochaware.
Authors contradict each other. Where one states that it must earthenware, another describes stoneware. Where one finds a rule, I find an exception to it somewhere else.Getting messier. No where is the footring used to imply mug or cup. It has to do with having a handle and its shape.
Other types of anglo-european drinking vessels foundin the 17th -19th centuries include the beaker, pokal, syllabub, tyg, kreussen, porringer moustache cup or mug, shaving mug, tankard, schnelle, thurndendel, capacity mug, trifle mug.
So tell me, is do the Japanese drink from a teacup or teabowl or do they really call it by cup, bowl or by something completely different?
"Many a wiser men than I hath
gone to pot." 1649
The Chapel of Art on wed 22 feb 06
Hi Rick! I think you are always going to get
disagreement on definitions and word usage,
especially in an historical context. We cannot
seem to agree on current meanings... Just look at
the way Clay Arters each have their own
definition of what a constitutes a "studio" as
opposed to a "workshop"! And the more sloppy we
all get in current usage, the more difficult it
becomes. Not least when speaking to/with an
international audience, some of whom are speaking
English as a second language.
Not only are there different definitions
nationally, but regionally and even locally. They
are confused even more by language and dialect,
use and fashion. What is called a crock in one
area, may be a bowl in another, but still refer
to exactly the same item. Simple differences when
describing everyday items is not a problem until
"experts" start talking!! That is always going to
complicate matters, not least because slight
differences which are unimportant to the general
public become of the upmost interest and
importance to those whose whole lives rotate
around a specialist product! Collectors,
curators, makers, designers all have specialist
knowledge and interest which is reflected in
there choice of vocabulary. There is nothing
strange about it.
Translations, adoption of terms from one region
by another but with a different emphasis on
function or use can "mess up" what the speaker
would think of as being perfectly obvious
terminology. As you say, a "Stein" means a stone
in German and would therefore not be used to
describe a Bierkrug or tankard in everyday
conversation! However, the word "stein" has been
adopted by English speakers to mean "any German
drinking vessel made to drink beer from". To find
German books on the subject, you will do better
searching for "Bierkr=FCge" (lit. beer jugs)
rather than Steins!
"Stein" (in the English sense) is probably the
result of a mistake in itself! Steingut is a
porous white body made to appear like porcelain,
and Steinzeug simply means stoneware. In the 19th
century however, Steinzeug/stoneware was
sometimes erroneously referred to as Steingut and
this can still be read/seen/said to this day.
Indeed, I was under the impression that they were
different words both meaning "stoneware" until
quite recently. "You live and learn", as they
Either way, the material and not the object is
therefore the source of the word. This represents
yet another confusion: "Mistranslation"!
And yes, the tankards of Germany and its beer
drinking/brewing neighbours (including Czech
Republic, Switzerland, Alsace, etc.) have several
sub-categories. You mentioned the Schnelle, Rick.
In fact, a Schnelle is a specific shape and type
of beer tankard: i.e. tall, narrow, tapered
conical, usually with relief decoration and a
small handle towards the top. They are also bound
around the base and the mouth with raised ribs
and leads experts to believe it shows their
origin is in wooden tankards bound with hoops.
They are characteristic of Sieburg ceramics but
also found in Cologne and Raeren. I am not
certain whether the literal translation of "a
quickie" was implied in everyday usage or not. We
need a German-speaking curator to answer that
one! The "Pinte" was a shorter form of the
Schnelle typical of Raeren and Cologne in the
16th cent. It is especially interesting, because
K=F6lsch (beer peculiar to Cologne) is served in
a glass which is smaller and differently shaped
to elsewhere in Germany up to the present day!
Humpen (wide, lidded tankards) have a
sub-category known as the Bienenkorbhumpen or
beehive. It is defined by its shape (similar to
the old basket type of beehive) and the raised
foot it stands upon. It was popular in Creu=DFen
and Saxony during the 17th century.
Kugelbauchkrug (round tummied jug), Walzenkrug...
All drinking vessels as opposed to the
Schenkkr=FCge (pouring or serving jugs). There
are many other names depending on the origin,
type, style, design, etc. but I shall not go
I am not sure that it is helpful to lump all the
"drinking vessels" together as you have, Rick.
Why mix historical periods, different uses,
various beverages, many fashions, makers and
specific regional/geographic areas together? When
talking of truly historical forms, it is only
going to interest a very small minority, not
least because the form is no longer in general
use and therefore has little relevance for
When Robert Fournier defines a cup as always
having a saucer, he is referring to contemporary
use and that is still certainly the case here in
the UK... You can serve a mug on its own, but we
would not dream of handing someone a cup without
a saucer! The origin of the saucer is also
disputed... Are you in the camp which claims the
saucer was originally a cover or do you think it
was a shallow bowl which got so shallow a cup had
to be added to make it useful again? I have heard
both theories! Certainly country folk would use
the saucer to cover, the cup when I was a
child... Both to keep falling debris out and to
keep it warm.
Yet another reason for differences in use and
language: purely social etiquette. Politeness and
manners have played an important role through the
years. My mother would never serve tea or coffee
to visitors in mugs, which she always referred to
as beakers. Now the word "beaker" generally
conjures up an image of a plastic picnic mug, a
vessel for used when brushing teeth or those
lidded mugs which small children first learn to
drink from after being weaned from the
bottle/breast but before being trusted with an
open-topped cup. On the other hand the word
"beaker" would immediately bring to mind an
ancient civilisation who buried their dead in
vessels to the listening archaeologist! Oi?!
I think a cup as a measure is very sensible, not
least because an ever-ready Ersatz would be a
cupped hand (or two). Surely the most ancient of
A Pokal is not a drinking vessel per se although
no doubt a celebratory drink was served from
them... Just as modern prize winners drink from
their trophies as well as squirting champagne
from magnum bottles... But they are usually
silver or silver-coloured base metal, although
there are some gold and glass. Ceramic? Not many
in my experience. Are you sure a syllabub refers
to a specific type of vessel, not the contents?
Shaving mug a drinking vessel? I do not think so!
Unless soapy water is your preferred tipple! LOL!
Moustache cup/mug was merely an added and
specific functional design IMO. Pretty much along
the lines of an invalid cup. Form following
function in both. I am not familiar with
"thurndendel"... Would you like to expand on
Really historic vessels are the porringer and the
tygg... But why stop there? What about caudle,
fuddling and posset cups? Why just one handle?
Given the improvement in techniques and
manufacture, why have we not reverted to
two-handled drinking vessels? There are so many
variations and sources there need be no lack of
Janet Kaiser -- not finished, but it is time to
go to bed! Also see if there is a e-photo of our
new arrival in our in-box yet... She was born on
*** IN REPLY TO THE FOLLOWING MAIL:
>Today, we simplify our term for drinking wares
and call them by mug or cup
>but what is missing in this discussion are those
drinking wares and terms
>which have now faded into history.
>Mugg is probably Scandinavian in origin, Mugg.
New Dictionary 1979
>One of my English reference sources states that:
Mug was originally a term
>for all earthenware vessels including bowls,
jugs, ewers and so on and
>those potters specializing in these were called
>continued into Georgian times.. The seller or
hawker of these wares was
>called a mugger. Mug as used to describe a
cylindrical drinking vessel
>with a handle dates to the mid-17th cent.
>Another defined mug as a heavy drinking cup of
earthenware or metal often
>ornamented with a human face. This also defined
cup as being Middle
>English and Old English from Late Latin, cuppa,
cupa, being from tub.
>Cups are described here as being a small, open
container that is bowl
>shaped with a handle. Fournier described a cup
as always having a saucer.
>Now what about Stein? Literally meaning Stone in
german, without mention
>of capacity. But we now associate it only with
large mugs. In Germany, the
> stein is called a krug. This dictionary
described our American definition
> of Stein as being an earthenware beer mug. So
much for Cologne ware.
>I think that it is also curious that cup is also
a scale of measure. You
>never find recipes for a mug of flour. But
Capacity Mug is the term I
>found in one book for an English stoneware ale
measure of the late 17th
>century, later made from Mochaware.
>Authors contradict each other. Where one states
that it must earthenware,
>another describes stoneware. Where one finds a
rule, I find an exception
>to it somewhere else.Getting messier. No where
is the footring used to
>imply mug or cup. It has to do with having a
handle and its shape.
>Other types of anglo-european drinking vessels
foundin the 17th -19th
>centuries include the beaker, pokal, syllabub,
tyg, kreussen, porringer
>moustache cup or mug, shaving mug, tankard,
>capacity mug, trifle mug.
>So tell me, is do the Japanese drink from a
teacup or teabowl or do they
>really call it by cup, bowl or by something
*** PREVIOUS MAIL ENDS HERE ***
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