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There may be as many as fourteen vessels depicting birds, only one of which has a motto on the rim. There are many birds featured in the bestiaries and it is quite impossible to link any particular one to the Buckley images. The poem entitled The Phoenix and the Turtle is attributed to Shakespeare (1564-1616). However, it has been suggested that it was written by someone who must have known of the bestiaries or at least have been aware of Du Bartas or Topsell (White 1969, 128). White considers that it could not have been written by Shakespeare as he does not mention any of the fabulous creatures found in the bestiaries but that the author of The Phoenix and the Turtle does (ibid, 128), implying that it was written after the time that Shakespeare was writing. It may have been a popular poem during the time the potters in Buckley were producing these vessels. Many poets have written about the phoenix and the bestiaries contain many references to birds, so the influence could have reached Buckley from numerous sources.

In addition to the sgraffito vessels depicting animals and birds, there are some small fragments in slip-trailed decoration. There are at least two vessels with simple fish motifs, see below, one that could be a dragon's head and tail (148), and one unknown animal (149).

Buckley dish with slip-trailed fish decoration
Figure 15: Buckley dish with slip-trailed fish decoration

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Last updated: Wed Mar 24 2004