|Molded Stoneware, Basalt & Parian|
The "Smokers and Drinkers" jug, with its continental style tavern scene of jollity and per...
The "Smokers and Drinkers" jug, with its continental style tavern scene of jollity and perhaps mayhem, exists both in underglaze-colored earthenware and, as with our example, enameled feldspathic stoneware, a light weight, finely potted body unusual among stonewares for its translucency. John and Griselda Lewis provide a detailed description of the scenes in Prattware 1780-1840, p. 51; we will paraphrase.
On one side two men sit at a table complete with a plate of food, pipes and a jug of ale. The man on the left, wearing a feather in his hat, toasts his companion, a sailor who seems to nervously clasp the back of his chair. On the reverse, two men share a jug of ale over an upended cask. One fellow seems to have more on his mind than enjoying his pipe; close examination reveals his concealed dagger!
Typical of these jugs, the vignettes are executed over an orange peel textured ground; other sections of the jug, set off by border devices are smooth. The blind relief of the tavern scenes contrasts with multiple bands of ornamental relief picked out in bright enamels of deep blue and green.
The handle form, two scrolling bands meeting in a graceful peak seems fairly unique to this jug and may ultimately serve as a clue in determining its maker.
|Dimensions:||Ht. 6 3/8in.; length 6 1/8 in.; width 4 1/4 in.|
|Condition:||Fine; minor enamel irregularity on handle
Despite the careful research of the Lewises, the origin of the "Smokers and Drinkers" jugs...
Despite the careful research of the Lewises, the origin of the "Smokers and Drinkers" jugs remains mysterious. They point to one of the Yorkshire potteries---Castleford, Leeds, or the Ferrybridge pottery of Ralph Wedgwood. They also record one earthenware example bearing an impressed "Wedgwood" mark of the sort used by Ralph's relative Josiah. It may be that some of Ralph's jugs were transported to Josiah's Etruria works for firing.