This stoneware jug dates from the 15th century and comes from Siegburg, a German town near Cologne. Between the 14th and 17th centuries, Siegburg marketed its famous white sandstone jugs called Jacoba-Kanne after the countess Jacoba of Bavaria (1401-1436). These jugs are shaped from clay composed mainly of silica, which gives them their typical light colour. They were the first examples of successful baking of ceramics at a high temperature (1150°C) and hence were often considered ‘primitive’ stoneware.
The Museum’s jug is tall, with a base but without any decoration and thus is typical of natural Siegburg jugs. They stood in contrast to the decorated salt-glazed stoneware from the neighbouring towns of Raeren and Cologne. The quality of the stoneware used to make Jacoba jugs did not warrant any decoration or, if the jugs were to be decorated, patterns were simply sculpted directly into the sandstone.