Toby Jug in general

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Toby jugs have been made in this country since about 1770,  and there are known examples from Germany before this time,  and now various countries from arround the world produce toby jugs.  Early examples were made in Britain from the late 18th century,  continuing up to about 1820 when Victorian mass production took over.  Other countries that have produced toby jugs are Sampson in Germany,  Delft in Holland,  and Japan after Word War II ( very cheap examples).  Jugs have been produced the the US,  on a revolutionary theme,  in Australia,  and modern examples can be found from Portugal, Italy and Czeck, most made for  UK market.  Very collectable examples are still being made by Kevin Francis,  and a few small producers still exist.  In the latter half of the 20th century,  more toby jugs in the form of Winston Churchill have been produced than anyone else.

Toby Jug or Character Jug ?

In the 1930's, Royal Doulton created a new collectable jaundre, called the Character jug,  this highly sucessfull collectable item sometimes get confused with toby jugs,  but the difference is quite specific,  toby jugs are modelled on the whole body,  and character jugs are just the head and shoulders.  More information about Character jugs and Royal Doulton can be found here : Link to Character Jugs and Royal Doulton


Ralph Wood, 

In about 1770 a Berslam potter named Ralph Wood produced a jug in the shape on a man, dressed in a tricorn hat,  a frock coat, breeches,  and holding a drinking pot on his left knee,  said to be modelled on his grand father.  The detail was superb,  the colouring subtle was so sucsessfull it was imeadiatly copied by potters every where.

Whieldon,  Pratt,  Askew 

These are the main potters who followed Wood in making different,  yet eaqually well modelled jugs, each with there own specific design and finish

Pratt or Prattware

Yet another equally well made jug made by the Pratt pottery.  Known for thier colouring, yellow and orange predominate,  and jugs have a very light weight feel,  with the finish being slightly biscuity. Muti coloured stripped stockings are also well known as well.  Price is dependent on a lot of things,  the most being I think damage,  with mould quality a very close second.


With the advent of industial production methods,  the victorian jugs were made by a much simpler method,  often from a single mould,  and painted in very garish colours,  and mass produced.  The give away clue as to this type is the use of a single mould,  fright often blue colouring,  painted face,  a red horizontal line arround the base,  poor quality definition.  Some poorly made victorian jugs even have the date 1787 inprinted on the base.

Types of Toby Jugs.

Toby jugs are often made to represent types of people,  or even famous people,  here is a basic list.


Also produced by Ralph Wood,  taking the form of a salior, sitting on a sea chest,  with his arm out stretched,   sometimes with writing on the sea chest, such as Dollars.  Normally having a blue jacket,  and blue stripped trousers.  Sometimes these is an anchor moulded on the base.  Many versions exist,  from superb jugs by Ralph Wood,  victorian versions that have not so much detail,  to almost modern reproductions by Wood and Sons.


Name given to a ordinary toby jug,  man sitting on a chair, frock coat covering the back of the chair, tricorn hat, breeches with a beer jug on left knee. Shoes can be either buckle or laced.  The handle is attached to the rear of the chair and sometimes has a thumb grip.  He also has a neckchief and waistcoat.  The base is normal;ly quite plain,  and the toes might slightly overlap the base. 


Similar to the ordinary,  but with one hand raised holding a glass


A generic name given to toby jugs made in yorkshire, made to a type of formular.  Real exaples exist from about 1800,  and continue to be made in the era of Victorian mass production.  This jug is made both sitting and standing.  Victorian examples have the small drinking jug as a 6 sided beaker,  the curley pipe is totally missing,  and the colouring is sometime applied after firing and therfor often rubs off from areas like arround the knees. Very difficult to specify what makes a jug a yorkshire,  but  here is the list that points towards the type :-

  • Scolopped hat decoration
  • Sponge decorated coat
  • Slight lean to left
  • Curly pipe in right hand
  • Miniture toby jug in left hand, or a sparrow beak jug
  • Eybrows painted in the form of dots
  • Criss cross patterns on the base
  • Standing or Sitting
  • Quite heavy


Hearty Good Fellow

Toby jug of a standing man,  with a drinking vessel that is held to his breast, later victorian examples have the name, hearty good fellow on the base.  Early examples exist,  also Victorian mass produced reproductions dominate the market.  Very few modern examples exist that have been made in the country,  but I have found foriegn made examples.  On early examples the waistcoat and the detail of the pipe is important.

Drunken Parson or Dr Johnson

Seated man,  spilling a jug of beer,  with powdered wig slightly askew,  with a white neckchief.  The most collectedable examples are made by Enoch Wood,  and have a marbled base.  Other victorian examples exist and are very collectable.  Various sizes exist,  and most are quite heavy.  Early examples about £800, victorian examples about £400, and modern Kevin Francis about £150. 

Thin Man

Highly sought after,  of a very thin man,  sitting in a chippendale chair. Original examples in good condition can sell for over £2000.  Modern reproductions can be found made by Kevin Francis. Examples are very hard to atribute to definate makers,  and tend to be attributed to factories or just Staffordshire.  Pale translucent or even monocrome colours exist. 


Quite a large jug, showing a man with a hook nose,  with a vase like jug in his left hand,  and a church warden type pipe in his left hand.  A few examples by Ralph Wood are found,  but most examples are late victorian,  and made by William Kent.  These Kent examples normally have a blue coat,  and brick red breeches.     In most examples the pipe is missing and the cheaper reproductions don't even have a hole for the pipe.


A toby jug in the form of Admiral Nelson, often with the word Nelson written on the base,  modelled in the same form as the statue on top of Nelsons Column,  in Trafagar Square.  Most people think that these jugs are dated about 1805,  but these jugs are later in date,  made to commemorate the erection of the statue,  any time after 1857.  The jug form is standard Nelson,  blue coat,  gold eppelettes,  with a coil of rope under his left foot.  These jugs were massed produced by the Victorians,  and although very collectable,  because of the sheer numbers produced can be bought or sold for about £100.

Snuff Taker

A toby jug in the form of a man taking snuff,  sometime holding a snuff box,  normally with a grin on his face.  This type of jug comes ion several sizes,  and is almost exclusivly Victorian.  Prices vary accourding to details and moulding,  but and average of about £100 is a good guide.

Martha Gunn

A toby jug in the form a woman,  with long skirt,  and named after the famous Martha Gunn of Brighton,  bather to the Price of Wales.  This jug can be recognised by the Prince of Wales Feathers on the hat at the front,  but some later jugs do miss this out.  Early jugs are very collectable, again according to quality,  even later reproductions demand high prices,  anthing up to £200.

Pig and Parson, or Tythe Jug

Toby jug depicting a parson,  with a pig,  taking the pig as part of the tythe.  Very collectable as very few examples exist,  and no know reproductions have been made.  According to condition, but could hkake up to £1000.

Fan Lady    

Toby of a jug in thge form of a lady with a fan. Made by Minton,  sometimes in monocrome white, or treacle glaze.  Other examples have a Majolica colouring,  others have a mottled effect.  Prices seems to be very variable,  odd examples can sell for over £800,  but most go for about £200.  This jug is sometimes found as part of a pair,  the other jug being a Barraster, also by Minton.  Also collected by Minton collectors.


A partner to the fan lady,  see above.  The same rules regarding colouring apply here as well.  The jugs is about 10 inches high,  and the pony tail from the barrasters wig continues down the back and forms the handle of the jug.

Gin Woman

Very similar to Martha Gunn,  but withouit the Prince of Wales feathers.  Normally show with a bottle,  and an inebriated expression.  Early examples by Ralph Wood can sell for £2000,  Victorian examples exist and sell for between £100 and £200,  and also modern reproductions exist by Kevin Frances.  

Barrel Toby

Generic name to almost any toby jug with a barrel,  norally show between the legs.  These jugs are mostly made by Whieldon,  about 1790 - 1800,  and blue colourings predominate.  Some of these jugs have what I can only describe as a potato print pattern arround the base.  According to condition and modelling,  these sell for between £500 - £1000.

Puzzle Toby

Very unique toby.  This jug has various holes and spouts,  these have to be blocked off by the drinker, or else when the jug is drunk from,  the liquid purs out not from the intended spout.  Most because of thier novelty vvalue,  and the fact that they have been used a lt are in quite poor condiion.  Good examples, even in a very used condition command excellent prices,  any where in the reguion of £2000 plus.

Cross Leg Toby

Very common toby, almost exclusively of Victorian manufacure,  show a happy man,  sitting on green foliage,  with his legs crossed, both hand grasping a beer jug to his chest.  Sometime a yellow border to his hat,  which is quite low or shallow.  Coat normally dark blue in colour,  face painted on with little moulded detail.  Value from £100 to £200.

Half Size

Very under valued at present,  and set to get a lot more expensive.  These jugs are normally about 6 to 8 inches high,  and contain nearly as much detail as the original.  Most potters did these,  and there is a story that these size jugs were used as trade samples,  for salesman to take round as a samples.  Nice story,  but take it with a pinch of salt.  Ralph Wood and Pratt both produced half size tobies,  and these command high prices in perfect condition, anything up to £1000.  Damage can be important,  and a lot of these sized jugs may have had extensive restoration.  Some very nice jugs exist that have double or even triple bases,  and these can sell for about £100 to £400, although the exact date of these is debatable,  are very collectable.

Squat Toby

Exclusively Victorian,  brightr blue coat,  sometime gold bourders of hat and coat.  Sometime known as Goudy Welsh.  Various sizes exist from about 4 to 8 inches.  Very few are maked on base.  Average cost can be from £10 to £50.  Sometimes come in sets of small, medium and large.

Lord Howe

Jug in the form of a man sitting on a barrel,  the barell being on its side,  with a dog lying down on the base.   The jug he is holding is quite large as well.  These jugs date from about 1790,  and are attributed to Ralph Wood.  None,  or very few Victorian examples exist,  and the only modern known examples are by Kevin Francis.  Price for early examples are aboout £2000,  and reproductions are about £150.

20th Century Manufacturers 

  • Kevin Francis
  • Wade
  • Burlington
  • Allerton
  • William Kent
  • H Wood
  • Tony Wood
  • Wood and Sons
  • Royal Doulton
  • Sumida
  • Clanance Cliff
  • Goulde-Wilkinson
  • Burleigh
  • Manor



















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