Contemporary Toby Jugs Part
2: 24th November 2012:
A marked enamel Leeds pottery
antique toby jug recently sold.
The type of jugs we are about to discuss have
held little interest to us as long-term enthusiasts. After owning
some of them in the first phase of collecting it isn't long
before you progress into the Ralph Wood toby jugs much loved
by Sir Harold Mackintosh. We were quite complacent on common
jugs accepting the normal attributions of past dealers with
our own thoughts that some of these attributions could be dubious.
So when a toby makes an eye-catching amount we felt it time
to study this jug a little closer resulting in some fascinating
facts. Researching this toby jug has led us to believe that
there are numerous examples of contemporary jugs made in the
late 19th/ early 20th century, some partly made from old moulds
others quite new which are now being sold as period pieces.
The question is were they made when collecting became popular
with the purpose to deceive or could the old to new contrasting
finished styles be when lead was being reduced in the glaze.
From the 1840's onward, pottery simplified,
colours brightened, old models that did continue to be used
appeared in rich cobalt blue. There would have been a limited
market for the now old, out dated toby jugs, with many characters
of their day long since gone. In the late Victorian/ Edwardian
period an interest in collecting antique pottery emerged with
some very high prices being paid. Capt.Price's collecting catalogue,
No.23: A white "Shield Toby" was purchased for the
sum of £162-15 shillings in 1914, a vast amount when considering
a potter's yearly wage was approximately £100-00. These
prices must have fueled an over whelming temptation to reproduce
pottery to fulfill the needs of wealthy collectors. This would
also explain why there are few examples of the questionable
contemporary jugs in comparison to the numerous 18th century
examples......For comparison prices of that time see our article:
First World War Toby Jugs.
Recently sold: A "Traditional"
enamel toby jug impressed Leeds was sold on EBay, the price
realized was approximately £1600.00. Normally £400-600
would be nearer a true value, if not marked. You have to assume
every one thought the jug to be genuine? Having a piece marked
and dated can make it valuable to collectors and also to potters
trying to portray an item as something that it's not.
Impressed LEEDS? (Indistinct marking) enamel
decorated pearlware toby jug No.1 Height 9.25 inches.
The common/distinct feature found is the small
jug on Toby's knee, unique to these jugs. The top of the small
jug usually has solid froth but in this case has thick parsley
type shredding which was often used to decorate Victorian portrait
figures circa 1850+. Large round mound buttons are a feature
on the coat and a large unusual looped handle, which over-hangs
a plain chair back. The legs seem aesthetically oversized and
the base is quite tall. Quality of potting and decoration is
superb and by an experienced talented hand, in many cases finer
than those ever produced in the early 19th century. Heights
can be slightly smaller than a "Traditional" 10-inch
model by up to one inch. To date they can be seen in Pratt ware,
enamel, creamware and pearlware.
The enamel decorated toby jug that sold on EBay, showing
the handle & indistinct impress mark to the base.
(Courtesy of an English private collection...many
thanks for the photographic opportunity).
The illustrated Leeds
pottery mark: The second section, after
the full stop/asterisk appears to be
different size lettering? Maybe used
from another mould creating an indistinct
part of the impress mark. If it reads
LEEDS*POTTERY a date 1790-1820 is recorded...
A selection of date marks from the periods
can be seen in Temple Newsam House Museum.
Leeds. book, page 280 & Creamware
by Donald Towner from page 218.
Early period, late
18th century Leeds Pottery or "Leedsware"
is attributed to many "Traditional"
or "Ordinary" model toby jugs
but their actual potters/factories are
unknown. Literally dozens of small cottage
industries set up in the Leeds, Yorkshire
area with hardly any marking their work.
Such a small proportion of pottery made
before 1800 bears any mark that it has
been suggested it could only have been
those wares destined for other factories
to re-sell or possibly those made for
special order requests. Also many non-traceable
wares were produced through the wider
Yorkshire region after 1830+ leaving
some modern specialists, who write today,
not dating some marked/un-marked wares
to any particular period.
In D.Towner's book published in 1978:
He writes that some collectors refused
to obtain marked Leeds Pottery wares
confusing it with more modern produced
pottery.... With these facts known collectors
will have to use their own skills to
determine a date of manufacture, be
it with a toby or other pottery earthenware
Jugs No's I & 2. The handles showing bottom
over-hang fitted to plain chair backs.
Toby No.2. The
very colourful creamware model with a LEEDS.POTTERY
impress mark to his base.(circa 1890's-1957). This mark
was also used on authentic pottery from about circa 1800
which causes a great deal of confusion.
Impressed LEEDS.POTTERY creamware
enamel toby jug No.2 probably early 20th century.
This slightly smaller rich creamware
jug is the same style as The No1 jug apart from solid
froth and overall height which is 9 inches. The coat is
coloured in a metallic type oily finish and the face features
finished to a high standard. The handle coloured in a
period Enoch Wood style, all using modern glazes and techniques.
On magnification there is a degree of orange peeling to
the hat which is similar to the red coat long-face toby
in the article "Contemporary Toby Jugs Part 1".
Overall quality is outstanding and the only one of this
style of enamel decoration we have seen to date.
Reading information available we found
that Toby's mark was used in manufacture between 1890's-1957?
Illustrated in Pat Halfpenny's book English Earthenware
Figures 1740-1840, is part of the catalogue published
by W.W.Slee of Leeds with pottery produced by J.W. &
G.W. Senior from the 1890's - 1957 (this is held in Leeds
Central Library). It shows many general wares produced
from old moulds. Marking their wares LEEDS.POTTERY
it shows a thick full stop or possibly an asterisk mark
between Leeds and Pottery. Numerous blocks used in the
manufacture of creamware are held in the V&A Museum
and many were found by Joseph & Frank Kidson at the
end of the last century, with modern moulds taken from
18thc wares from the Leeds pottery, (these used by the
Seniors) in The City Museum. Leeds.
Further research pulled two more
very similar jugs from a Christies South Kensington
auction, illustrated on their cover photograph from
May 1996. One marked LP... Toby No.3 (photo left:
from a private collection). The other has no catalogue
info whether marked or not? The
unmarked illustrated Toby No.4 (above) has
extremely fine enamel painting detail to his
waistcoat and has been produced by a skilled hand,
similar toby model to No.1 and No.3.
Toby No.3. The LP impressed, wearing
a pink jacket, has been traced to its new collection
owner...It was purchased originally with the thought
that it was Lakin & Poole (mark circa 1791-95),
as the Christie's catalogue stated but their makers
mark is L&P. Toby's expression and features
are strikingly similar to No.1 but his glaze has
the appearance of being bubbled, sponged, or a mixture
of colour combinations but it could just be glaze
damage? LP marked wares being very rare would date
this toby no later than 1820.
A collector spotted another Toby,
a plain un-decorated creamware version in a USA
museum. It was bequeathed in 1967 with their thoughts
being it's circa 1780. If the link is still available
it's shown below. He wrote to see if it was marked
but has had no reply...thanks for bringing your
source material to our attention.
fitted detachable hat.
No.6 with Pratt palette.
This illustrated model
(left) shows the detailing of a Pratt ware toby
jug so fine it's just not quite right! The delicate
painted bow detail and smooth body finish especially
around his shoes, all with very few imperfections.
The extra detailing around the knee and cuff buttonholes
are unusual features. The light yellow/brown sponged
base colouring is suspect as it's so often used
on later contemporary figures. The evolution of
Pratt style/ type palette is not just seen on
toby jugs but on a much wider antique style range
of pottery with many now having the "over
100 years old" antique status themselves.(photo
Toby No.6 courtesy of Bonhams 1793 Fine Art. www.bonhams.co.uk)
toby illustrated No.5 was a surprising find. It's
the same model as jugs No's 1-6 but different in
finish, which is in under-glaze decoration rather
than enamel. A universal light bulb hat is seated
in a tall position in the top of the jug and his
leg glaze has a crackle finish. The under-glaze
Pratt ware Toby No.6 has again the distinct little
jug with a solid froth but his handle differs being
similar in style to that found on "Hearty Good
Fellows". His glaze decoration appears very
smooth/modern/re-fined especially in the leg &
shoe area, not in keeping with an early period Pratt
palette where impurities are often seen through
the glaze. The legs appear to be old moulds having
the knee breeches & cuff buttonholes highlighted
with the use of a pallet knife (unusual). Also the
hair, leg and shoe ties are improved by painted
decoration detail. It must be noted that the small
jug on Toby's knee is slightly less flared at the
top allowing the froth to overhang the
Our earliest recorded find of
a Leeds type "Traditional" toby holding
the unique shaped solid froth jug (Tobies No's 1-5)
can be seen catalogued by Mr.& Mrs. Frank Freeth.
Published in 1916. Reference 14 from page 63 states,
*"Old Man, of similar model, all creamy white,
holding a foaming white ale jug. (Probably a Leeds
one). Height 9 inches*"... Mr. & Mrs. Freeth
write generally of their thoughts of who potted
what and finish their page with a caution.... Quote:
*" The collector, however, must be on his guard
and beware of the worthless imitations with wretched
modelling and vulgar colouring, which are now produced
by the thousand and offered to the public as genuine"*
Below are three examples
of Yorkshire/Leeds Pratt ware moneyboxes dated accordingly,
which shows the evolution of this piece. The two
contemporary examples have different figures and
chimneystacks, which are separate moulds to the
house. The centre one, has always been accepted
as a Pratt ware copy and the right one is listed
in the Kent catalogue circa 1950's. Toby jugs have
also gone through this evolution, non more so than
the Pratt ware /Yorkshire marked crown toby and
these are still made today... We will possibly discuss
these jugs at a later date. Also please note that
Scottish type Pratt ware Wesleyan Chapel moneybox
models can be found dated as late as 1848.
Antique Pottery c1810-20
Late 19th-early 20th century.
c1890-1960 Kent factory.
We must now consider
other models with some similar details to the toby
jugs under discussion.
Landlord with detachable hat. /Right No 8. from the F.Stacey
Hooker Esq. Collection.
Left & Centre
Toby No.9. Under-glaze colours & shredded froth (often
used on Victorian pottery 1850+) / Right. Toby No 7. The
Landlord with bottle & cup, shows a modern in appearance
No.11 Circa 1790-1810.
The very fine light blue under-glaze
Toby (illustrations number 10 & 11) above c1790/1810 seems
to be the inspiration for jugs 8, 9, 12 & 13 having similar
features of large buttons and handle. It has been attributed
to the Leeds pottery because of the froth in the small jug.
This design is listed in the Leeds pattern books and can often
be found as flower knobs on teapot lids after 1775. The photo
right, (Courtesy of Toby Jugs by John Bedford. page 35) shows
detail of the flower design which is on a toby jug held in
the Yorkshire Museum. Information of this flower and others
similar is discussed in D. Towner's book page 204. The difference
in the glazes become more apparent when the jugs are placed
side by side, the soft subtle period colours giving way to
harsh contemporary painting.
Toby No.7. The Landlord is a
unique model only found in under-glaze colours to date.
Again we see the same style looped handle and a detachable
hat can commonly be found which is unusual for an early
period jug. The coat uses two colours of sponge decoration,
which could explain the appearance of the marked LP Toby
No.3. To view a Landlord Toby jug with hat visit the Willett
Collection, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, East Sussex.
In 1903 Henry Willett gifted his collection of Toby Jugs
catalogued in 1899, although his first phase of collecting
was lent to the museum in 1873. If this model could have
been traced to the first phase then an earlier date could
have been established. His collection told the history of
British people, in all some 2000 pieces with 23 subject
headings, date lined between 1600-1900. The illustrated
photo No 7. is from a private collection that holds three
of these models again complete with detachable hats! &
their attribution is to Scottish Pottery. From our personal
sales archive this model has never been purchased as we
always considered it to be later 19th century.
Toby No.8. Provenance: From the F. Stacey
Hooker Collection. Lot 21. Part of the 1960 catalogue
entry reads*"Of Pratt Type.... blue coat, orange
seat, green base. It is very unusual to find a "Traditional"
model with the legs separated to the chest"*...Legs
molded all the way around. A fine painted waistcoat, looped
style chevron decorated handle and on his knee sits a
well decorated little sparrow beak jug that wouldn't look
out of place on a Sherrat table base group. It's main
body mould being Toby No.9 but its most interesting features
are the short thinner forearms, much smaller in proportion
hands and legs with the small cup possibly the top of
a bottle in his right hand. The top of the left hand has
a circular area where a cup could have been placed?. These
characteristics are very similar to Toby No.7. The Landlord.
(It would have been nice to have handled the Hooker jug
for further comparisons).
A different model with blue coat in under-glaze, it can
be found with the same universal light bulb shaped detachable
hat (Toby No.5, 12 & 13) & in colourful enamel
decoration palette (Toby No.13). The unusual shredded
clay froth and large buttons are similar to the marked
Leeds No.1 jug. The small jug on Toby's knee is similar
in shape to the contemporary long- face (discussed in
a previous article). Again the jug has a looped style
handle (sometimes with a painted chevron design decoration,
Toby No.8) with no bottom overhang, it's secured at the
base of the chair back with pallet knife incisions. The
jug is very heavy, being near normal height and excessive
blue is added to the pearlware glaze.
Universal fitting light bulb shaped
detachable hat: Hats on period jugs are quite rare
and need to be covered properly in a separate article.
The usual detachable hat is shaped to give it a snug fit
when fitted in the jug and is within keeping with the
genuine tri-corn hat of the day. Look how neatly the well
designed Landlord hat is seated when made for that jug.
To obtain these aesthetic values the hat has to be potted
with the jug and fired at the same time thus having an
equal shrinkage rate making it unique to that jug. A light
bulb shape hat is round/tapered and has the flexibility
of fitting into any size jug where it will find it's own
seating level (rare finer antique round/ tapered hats
can also be found occasionally).This method of one hat
fits all would be a convenient way when commissioning
a range of jugs from old or new moulds.
The Leeds tobies No's. 1,3 & 4 are
the only examples mentioned with a style that you could
genuinely believe to be c1820. However, these three jugs
in various combinations share key features with jugs No's
2, 5-9, 12 & 13 that can more clearly be demonstrated
as being late. These links surely also provide strong
hints that the jugs were made within a short timeframe.
The present evidence also suggests these jugs had limited
production runs in their varied forms e.g. creamware /enamel
etc implying a narrow market which could only be the established
late 19th century collector rather than the wider horizons
open to the 18th century potters. Don't naturally assume
if a jug is Pratt ware it's 1800 and if enamel is 1820.
All of these jugs have antique related wear so style and
colouring are the only clues you have. There's nothing
wrong with adding these tobies to a collection when dated
correctly and priced accordingly.
In our early years we have sold similar
model toby jugs. When unsure we were given assurances
by more experienced dealers and experts to the authenticity
of pieces being sold. Today, let's question some attributions
which are only given from reference books and old collection
catalogues, (whose wares were often not collected until
later 19th-beginning of the 20th century). There is still
a strong consensus that if a toby model is found to have
a famous collection provenance it has to be genuine early
period and not brand new of that time. The Freeth Collection,
assembled before 1916, with its period toby jugs and creamware,
felt it necessary to state the perils of trying to obtain
an early collection. Lord Mackintosh of Halifax studied/collected
Ralph Wood glaze period & there are no reproductions
seen in his archive catalogues.
Yorkshire Toby c1800
No.13 Contemporary with garish over painted decoration.
Ralph Wood Circa 1785.
The over painted garish contemporary
toby ( photo courtesy of the internet) sits rather
uncomfortably between the simple charms of the genuine
Yorkshire and Ralph Wood toby jugs either side.
regards shredded parsley what about its early use
on the jug in the Heap collection?
Bonhams Sale: Lot 118 8th
Sep 2004. Close up photos are available http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/11282/10871/#q1_1=toby&m1=1&b1=list
A very unusual 'Step' Toby jug:
applied with shredded clay hair and modelled with
a jug in his left hand and pipe in his mouth supported
by his right hand, with underglaze decoration, his
jacket in green, his breeches and boots in brown,
on a canted base with stepped recess, 24.5cm (minor
chipping to base, restored section to spout)
Although shredded clay decoration is found forming
the foam on many examples, this jug where the shredded
clay forms the hair appears to be unrecorded.
shredding was just a comparison and wasn't meant
to imply that it was solely used after 1850 but
with this particular toby....
Lot 118: The shredded hair is
placed on top of the original hair and is outside
the rim of the hat, which looks totally out of place
with what is always a well-modeled jug. Vic Schuler
(books 1&2) referred to a similar jug as "The
Convict", although it's not the usual associated
model. A close inspection of the shredding is needed
to see if there is any colour or glaze beneath indicating
if the hair is added later. The colours are as expected
with green pooling beginning to form at the lower
cuff, the shoes and breeches rich manganese all
compatible with a jug of c1780. There is deterioration/break-up
on most of the white area below the hat line especially
the face. Large crazing similar to the surface of
a drying clay pit can be seen between the legs,
alien to the natural crazing on the green, the knees
having none. This should lead us to thinking the
jug has been broken; restored or a crude attempt
to re-fire the jug with applied slip when attaching
the hair. Whatever your conclusion until the white
suspect areas are explained you must consider the
jug as a period piece of c1780 with possible later
The toby jug with shredded hair
(photo left) can be seen in Vic Schuler, Collecting
British Toby Books Number 1 & 2.
There is not much to compare
from this black and white photograph other than
similarities in decorative style to the ones above.(check
the excessive painting to the knees, Toby No.13)
The odd thing about this jug apart from the shredded
hair is the decoration in under-glaze, normally
they are running glaze. If contemporary is it
possible when trying to decorate in a convincing
period style they copied from a similar jug like
"The Convict", a slightly different
model nearly always found in Pratt ware under-glaze.
Creamware Pottery Books of
Please note that not one publication
that was used for reference literature has a toby
jug illustrated but for general information on creamware
collecting and explanations taken for this feature
read through the book pages of:
Creamware, published in 1978 by
Donald Towner (March 1903-Sept 1985).... In The
International Journal of Ceramics & Glass (Feb/March
86) I found Donald C. Towner's obituary. His creamware
research observation studies were thorough after
a Chinese porcelain piece he acquired turned out
to be creamware. This started his interest and after
the Second World War he studied the pottery in earnest.
Hon Secretary of the English Ceramic Circle.....words
from his writings. Quote: * "Using my eyes
and distrusting everything that had been said or
written about English pottery til I had thoroughly
tested it"*.... Wise words for all collectors,
this author wrote many acknowledged publications
on creamware pottery.
Creamware and other English Pottery
at the Temple Newsam House Leeds. by Peter Walton.
The proportion of marked to unmarked creamware is
given by the Temple Newsam House Leeds as out of
369 plain cream ware pieces catalogued only 45 are
impressed with a Leeds mark, twelve of those are
modern (early 20th century) and a further eight
are figures. So out of the 369 plain creamwares
only 26 have attributions to Leeds pottery.
English Earthenware figures 1740-1840
by Pat Halfpenny...Chapter "The Real Thing"
from page 278. In this chapter P. Halfpenny discusses
the impress marks Leeds.Pottery and the brightness
of colour she has seen on later wares, some held
in the Temple Newsam House Museum.
Update: New Book: The Yorkshire
Potteries by John D. Griffin: published by the Leeds
Art Fund, July 2012. Its pages reveal 1018 illustrations
of over 400 factory marked or otherwise attributed
earthenware pottery wares. (I have been informed
there is a toby illustrated).
The rare LP mark: In a
2005 publication: The Leeds Pottery 1770-1881 by
John D. Griffin.
The signed mark LP was used on a large pottery horse
(16.5 inches) held in the Leeds Museum collections,
illustrated by John Griffin, The Leeds Pottery (2005),
These early models were made only in pearlware glaze
body. The mould later came into the possession of
the Seniors who manufactured reproductions in creamware.
Written in Donald Towner Page
220 ......LP mark.
Impressed or enamelled: This mark is a factory mark
of the Leeds Pottery dating from approx 1780 till
1820. The letters "LP" enamelled in blue
occur on one corner of a saddlecloth of a horse
about 16 inches high, at the Yorkshire museum.
Please note: This article
is to help educate collectors, the opinions we give
are from our own collecting experience and many
may contradict our thoughts. Some past written information
has now become outdated as more facts & items,
from a much broader range, can be seen through the
Internet. A clearer picture would have emerged for
collectors if a full-assembled record of our gathered
copyright material could have been shown. We'll
try and add more information as and when available
to build a reference work that should be useful
to every collector.
If anyone has a problem with any
part of the material used in this educational article
or if you have something to add, please contact
us as your comments are welcome. ....Many thanks
to those who contributed to this article.
Modern creamware is still made
today by factories such as Royal Creamware based
in Malton, Yorkshire & Hartley Greens &
Co. Longton Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire. All their
wares can be checked out on the Internet.
Our next antique article will
be about a "Traditional" toby jug range
produced in Portugal, potted in creamware and pearlware
glaze. These are often mistaken as English...see
similar in the Capt. R.K. Price Collection. Published
by John Lane.1922. ..."The Reading Toby",
"Large Bottle Toby", "Wineskin Toby",
"Cornucopia Toby" and a Cross-leg version
holding a cornucopia/stirrup cup has just sold recently
on EBay... Have you any photos of this family of
Toby's to help with the feature?
© 2012: All rights reserved Ray and Diane Ginns