The almost regularly spherical body of this tankard, covered with white tin glaze, and the short, straight neck with pewter rim and lid, are definitive features of Haban pottery, as are the triple floral festoons painted with sweeping brushstrokes and curving to each side from the centre. This is framed by ornamentation of wavy lines and lozenges and the year 1606 inscribed on the neck. The date is generally held to be that of manufacture, even though Haban artists did not put any maker’s mark on their products. The year often inscribed on Haban wares was probably put there at the customer’s request, to commemorate some important event. The technical features and decoration of this tankard mark it out as one of the earliest-known pieces of Haban ware. In the 17th century, tin-glazed faience represented the peak of European pottery, a “substitute” for hard-to-get Chinese porcelain. The production technique was very costly and demanded great skill, so that demand for such wares came principally from royalty and aristocrats, whose patronage permitted the Habans – a people who lived in closed communities and were, owing to their Anabaptist faith, repeatedly oppressed as heretics and forced eastward from their original homeland in the Netherlands – to settle in certain towns and estates in Hungary, where their highly skilled craftsmen produced various wares. Haban faience ware was bought for display rather than everyday use, part of the opulent furnishings of aristocratic residences.