Mega-mug puts 'tank' into tankard

By Giles Broadbent on September 20, 2012 11:59 AM |

tankard.jpg

This might be the age of the binge drinkers but, in terms of efficiency, there's still a lot we can learn from the drunken sailors of the 16th century.

For a new find on display for a short time at the Museum of London Docklands at West Quay suggests that the average Jolly Jack Tar preferred to spend time drinking rather than making the precarious journey to and from the barrel on a swaying ship.

For this soggy tankard, preserved by wet mud and found by a mudlark at Ratcliff, can hold an impressive three pints. It has a lid - to prevent spillages - but no spout, casting doubt on its suggested role as a decanter.

Like a barrel, the tankard is constructed from a series of wooden beech lengths held together by metal braces

However, it has some way to go before it matches the Mary Rose party packs - they could carry eight pints.

Picture: Museum of London conservator, Rebecca Lang, working on the 16th century tankard