Bellarmine Jug Artifact Replica

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Rhenish salt-glazed stoneware was manufactured in the German provinces of the Rhine River valley and is commonly found on Atlantic shipwrecks of the 16th-18th century. Such heavy and durable jugs, characterized by a decorative bearded face on the neck and heraldic medallion on the body, are often called ‘beardman jugs.’ The term bellarmine originated during the 17th century as an outgrowth of the (false) idea that the bearded face was a caricature of Cardinal Roberto Bellarmino (1542-1622), thus making the hated Roman Catholic theologian an emblem of Protestant drinking vessels. Bellarmine jugs were purportedly found on Warwick (1619) during early salvage of the shipwreck. This jug, which is the creation of local Bermuda artist Jon Faulkner, is an exact replica of one aboard Sea Venture (1609).  Sea Venture is an iconic shipwreck in the history of Bermuda as the ill-fated voyage inadvertently brought the first settlers to Bermuda and inspired Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

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