Boy who accidentally broke jug at Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich found

PUBLISHED: 11:49 06 July 2015 | UPDATED: 11:52 06 July 2015

Carrie Willis is pictured at Ipswich Art School with the jug.

Carrie Willis is pictured at Ipswich Art School with the jug.


The mother of the little boy who accidentally broke a puzzle jug in a Christchurch Mansion mishap has contacted museums service staff in Ipswich to tell them how happy he is that the historic piece has been repaired.

The five-year-old boy was visiting the Mansion with his relatives last summer when he accidentally knocked the jug off a window ledge, smashing it into 65 pieces.

The lad and his family were understandably upset by the accident and museums staff thought the jug’s 221-year life was over. However, thanks to the skills of Carrie Willis, a duty officer at the Mansion, the jug has been returned to its former glory.

After their appeal was published in our newspapers and websites, the story attracted media interest throughout the UK and even America and South Africa.

A museum spokesman said: “We have received a call from the boy’s mother who told us the little lad and his family were delighted that the puzzle jug had been repaired but that they wished to remain anonymous.

“We only know the family were visitors from somewhere in the south east.”

Carrie, who is currently studying for her Conservation Technicians Qualification, meticulously pieced the 18th Century Delft Puzzle Jug back together under the expert guidance of Bob Entwistle, the museum’s conservation officer. The repair work took 65 hours – one hour for each smashed piece of pottery. Similar jugs have been valued at between £1,000 and £2,000.

The jug, which has been on display in the Mansion for many years, is called a puzzle jug because it has three spouts requiring the user to guess which spout the water will pour from. It is now on display at the Ipswich Art School Gallery as part of the new COLOURS exhibition.

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