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Industries – Hand Crafts – Tappit Hen

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Tappit Hen. 18th c, pewter

Inscribed on the lid “AW   MB”

This pewter measure gets its name from the Scottish name for the crested hen. If you are said to have ‘a tappit-hen under your belt’, you are being accused of over-indulging in the claret – three pints of it to be precise! In reality, the tappit hen was used for all manner of liquids from wine and ale to buttermilk and vinegar.

The tappit hen is a measure peculiar to Scotland. It came into fashion in the 18th century. The jug would originally contain a Scots pint, which is around three of our modern-day imperial pints, but they also came in the smaller sizes of the ‘chopin’ (two pints), ‘mutchkin’ (just under a pint) and the ‘half mutchkin’