Bit of a blast
This unusual ceramic hand grenade was made at John Dwight's pottery in Fulham, around 1673. It is made of stoneware. Stoneware is a hard pottery produced by firing clay at very high temperatures.
How did it work?
Ceramic grenades were filled with gunpowder and sealed with a wooden plug. They were lit with a fuse pushed through a hole in the plug. This grenade was never used and seems to have been an experiment by John Dwight. He may have planned to supply grenades to the government during the Third Dutch War (1672-4). But there is no evidence that he ever did.
John Dwight's pottery
John Dwight founded a pottery in Fulham around 1671. It stood between New King's Road, Burlington Road and Fulham High Street. Until 1675 he experimented with different types of pottery before settling down to make stoneware tankards, bottles and other household items. Although Dwight died in 1703, the factory continued until the 1960s. From 1971-9 the Fulham and Hammersmith Historical Society excavated the site as it was being demolished to build an office block. This grenade was the only one they found during the excavations.
Museum number 97.90/2