|Molded Stoneware, Basalt & Parian|
Tam O'Shanter and Souter Johnnie, drinking buddies from one of Robert Burn's most popular...
Tam O'Shanter and Souter Johnnie, drinking buddies from one of Robert Burn's most popular narrative poems, seem about to disengage themselves from the confines of this large deeply-modeled jug to join you for a brew. The technical virtuosity involved in executing this design is obvious. The mugs and the limbs that hold them would have required separate molding and attachment to the main body.
The figures are based closely on free-standing statues of the pair by James Thom, a self taught sculptor. The figures achieved great popularity and were taken on tour around Britain in the late 1820's. Potters also utilized the design as the basis for earthenware figures. Included is an image from a vintage postcard.
Thom's figures are backed by an organic jug form covered by grapevines. Wine does not seem to be the tippler's preference, however. The tops of each mug are carefully pricked to suggest foamy droughts of ale.
|Dimensions:||Height 11 1/4 in.; width 9 1/4 in.; depth 6 1/2 in.|
To students of the design reform movement--which began in Britain mid nienteenth-century a...
To students of the design reform movement--which began in Britain mid nienteenth-century and emphasized simplicity and practicality--this jug stands out as a deliriously unreformed object. Pouring liquids, particularly given the exceptionally large size, would be awkward. Keeping it clean would have been nearly impossible.We, however, do not have to share the reformers' zeal and can simply enjoy the bravado of what Richard Henrywood in his standard reference work calls "arguably one of the best relief-moulded jugs and one eagerly sought by collectors" (Relief -Moulded Jugs: 1820-1900, p.226).
Addendum -- Richard Henrywood has now stated the jug is known with Edward Walley's usual black printed coat of arms mark with his name and Cobridge. This dates the jug 1845-1856. The jug is also rumored to be known marked E&W Walley -- for Edward and William Walley, partnership lasting from 1856 to 1865.