|Mason's and Other Stone China|
"To Ho" was a cry used by hunters to bring their hounds to a halt. Appropriately, C. J. Ma...
"To Ho" was a cry used by hunters to bring their hounds to a halt. Appropriately, C. J. Mason has borrowed the shout for a jug that seems to have frozen the action of the hunt. Two pairs of dogs stand at rest, but in a pose so filled with alert tension that they literally spill off the edges of the jug body. Very few jugs achieve the dimensionality of Mason's "To Ho." In fact the dogs' heads and portions of their body have been cast separately and applied seamlessly to the relief. It was this type of decorative exuberance that function-minded reformers would later condemn. Function aside, "To Ho" is among the most impressive of all molded jugs.
Close observers will note subtle differences -- front and back -- in the low relief landscape details and, more significantly, that two different breeds are depicted: rough-coated setters on front and smooth-coated pointers on the reverse.
The relief on the collar depicts a different aspect of the hunt ritual as participants enjoy a post-hunt celebratory toast in a detailed domestic interior (complete with patterned wallpaper!). A traditional gnarled branch handle connects the collar to the rural scene below.
|Mark:||Backstamp angled crown and drapery; pad mark "To Ho"|
|Dimensions:||Height 8 1/2 in.; length 8 in.; width 6 in.|
|Condition:||Two tight lines inside collar, not visible on exterior
R.K. Henrywood points to an 1821 painting by Edwin Landseer, Pointers, To Ho! To Ho! -- se...
R.K. Henrywood points to an 1821 painting by Edwin Landseer, Pointers, To Ho! To Ho! -- seen here as engraved by Landseer's brother Thomas-- as a possible source of inspiration for the design of the Mason's jug.
While the deeply sculptural relief of "To Ho" is a link to the jug forms of the 1830's, the form of the ink stamp mark was used on the potteries more familiar ironstone jugs in the 1840's. Mason's ventures into the molded jug genre were few, but the levels of ambition and achievement in this example are extraordinary.