Blue and White Transferware Pottery Pitcher Pre-Victorian



The Imperial system of uniform measurements was defined by the British Weights and Measures Act of 1824 (prior to that, your pint of bitters may not have really been a pint). Many transferware jugs and mugs were then made with the new standards printed on them, such the British quart, which is equal to 40 ounces. This jug, marked 1 QUART under the spout, has the coat of arms of the United Kingdom, along with the words "Dieu et mon droit," {God is My Right} the motto of the British monarch.
Potteries were quick to add this Royal insignia, as it showed that the jug was complying with the new law. Somewhat later jugs were typically made with the initials "V.R." added, for Victoria Regina (Queen Victoria) who began her reign in 1837. This dates the jug after 1824 and probably before 1837. Much of this early blue and white pottery made by Staffordshire factories is unmarked by the maker, as is this one.

The shape of this jug confirms its early 19th century date, with its gently swelling high shoulder (as opposed to the low, rounded belly of later ones) and the high flared foot. It stands 6 1/2 inches tall and weighs 1 1/4 pounds. The floral border pattern decorates the rim and spout both inside and out and runs down the C-shaped handle. The base measures 4 1/4 inches in diameter, with a web of fine hairlines, one of which extends one inch up from the bottom under the spout. (Shown in our photos). The overall clear glaze is crazed, the interior is quite clean and the transfers are intact, with the blue shades strong and fresh. There are no other cracks, chips or repairs.

The pastoral scene on the jug is the same on both sides, but the transfer was flipped from one side to the other, creating mirror images. Two ladies are depicted seated on a bench, with a background of classical architecture (another favorite transfer subject). This antique jug displays beautifully and is a great find for the collector and decorator alike.

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PYH 5054

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