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Toby Jug

During the 1700s, potters in the English region of Staffordshire developed the Toby Jug - a jug depicting the seated figure or head of a notable contemporary. This type of jug later spread throughout the country and abroad, becoming popular vessels in pubs, bars and taverns. The figure or head is typically shown with a pipe or alcoholic drink, clothed in 18th century dress. By the 20th century, prominent manufacturers such as Royal Doulton, Wedgwood and Royal Worcester were producing Toby Jugs. Early characters had included royalty and aristocracy, whilst later versions focused on popular culture and political figures. After the success of his efforts during the Second World War, Royal Doulton produced Toby Jugs representing British politician, Winston Churchill. Despite being made in England, Toby Jugs found great commercial success amongst American buyers. After a decline in popularity, few manufacturers today still produce Toby Jugs; however, antique and vintage examples remain sought-after on the collectors' market.