Popham Colony Artifacts

Recreated bellarmine jug, Popham Colony, ca. 1600

Recreated bellarmine jug, Popham Colony, ca. 1600
Item 55345   info
Maine State Museum

A bellarmine was a type of jug that the used for shipping, storage, and serving before glass bottles were made available in the 17th century. They were usually gray. The outer surface, and sometimes the inner surface, was salt-glazed. Molded medallions were put on the body, and human faces were put on the necks.

There were 213 shards of bellarmine found at the Popham colony. The majority of the shards (63 percent) were found at the vice admiral’s house, 13 percent at the admiral’s house, 11 percent at the buttery, 6 percent at the storehouse, and 7 percent elsewhere. Some shards that were found together were placed on a modern reproduction of a bellarmine.

Some shards found at the Popham Colony were pieced together to form this jug.

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