Sunday, March 25, 2018


Worshipful Company of Weavers 6 inch Presentation Jug

When I first saw this jug, I thought the animals were pussy cats.  I wasn't sure about the object in their mouths, but was surprised that a cat was used to fetch something.  They never do that.  At least mine don't.

Close-up of the pattern, which shows the Arms of the Worshipful Company of Weavers: "By Our Industry The Naked Are Clothed" and "Weave Truth With Trust." Click on the photo to make it larger. The cute dragon-like animals are wyverns.

I was also intrigued by the name Jonas.  I have a son with that name, and it is not common in the U.S. or Britain today. I didn't think it was common in 19th century either.

The name under the spout is "Jonas Crowder" and the date is "1819." The poem reads: "When this you see remember me./ And keep me in your mind./ Let all the World say what they will/Speak of me as you find."  All of this appears to be hand-painted. The poem is not uncommon to find on 19th century English pottery.

A close-up of the above.

The other side of the jug shows a leopard (not a house cat) with a shuttle in its mouth plus another poem: "Before weaving was invented/Nakedness walk'd every where/And the Rich was well contented/The Skins of hairy Beasts to wear./In the Night like dolesome Spirits/They walk'd both naked forlorn/Then may we say bless'd be the day/A Weaver in the World was born." And, "In God Is All"

A close-up of the above.

I loved the jug, so I bought it.  I knew I would have to do some research. The patterns illustrate the arms of the Worshipful Company of Weavers (granted in 1490),  poems about weavers, and the name of the person to whom the jug was presented, Jonas Crowder. The cats are actually leopards who are holding  shuttles in their mouths.  The dragons are wyverns, who are winged two-legged dragons (a wyvern may not be considered a dragon by everyone) with barbed tails.  I could not find any information about Jonas Crowder.  I hope someone can help me.

I added my new jug to a few others that have names and dates.  Any help in identification of the people named would be appreciated!

Notice there is another Jonas on the jug that is second from the left! Are all the jugs transfer printed?

Thursday, March 8, 2018


Everard, Colclough & Townsend (1837-1845) "Plenty" jug. 

I've been watching "Victoria" on PBS.  A few episodes deal with the the need to repeal the Corn Laws that made it so expensive for the common working people to buy food (grain for bread). The laws, passed in 1815, were meant to protect the price of grain (corn) from the competition of foreign markets.  However, the laws created a monopoly that enriched the landowners.  This worked until 1845 when the potato blight in Ireland, poor harvests in England, plus the high cost of grain created a famine in Ireland and near famine in England.
Other side of Everard, Colclough & Townsend (1837-1845) "Plenty" jug

I have often wondered about transferware patterns that feature the words "Corn Laws" and "Free Trade."  I knew nothing about these laws, nor their consequences (or forgot).*  Once again, the study of transferware patterns has opened a window onto history. One of the things I learned is the word "corn" refers to wheat, rye, and other grains, not just what Americans think of as corn. Another is that one of the biggest motivating features of politics is greed (I actually knew this already).  And yet another is that free trade can both benefit and destroy.  The Corn Laws were more complicated than I am telling you, so I suggest you look at the link above.

Here is a close-up of the photo above. The flags say "Free Trade" and "No Monopoly."  The bags are easier to read: "Corn" and "Cheap Corn."

The mark for the above teapot.
A child's plate with the same pattern as the above jug.

Child's plate with the caption "Our Bread Untaxed Our Commerce Free." This was the motto of the Anti-Corn Law League. The pattern is the same or nearly the same as one side of the "Plenty" jug.

A jug with the same pattern or a similar pattern to the plate above.

The Corn Laws were repealed in 1846, but not before many people died of starvation.

Just one more pattern to show that the Potteries wanted Free Trade too, although Free Trade may have helped the demise of the Staffordshire pottery industry at the beginning of the 21st century. I may only be surmising, so please let me know what you think.

Child's plate "Commerce/The Staffordshire Potteries/And free trade with all the world."

I'll end with pointing out that free trade remains an issue today.  Just read the newspaper!

*And one more thing.  If you are a Transferware Collectors Club member, see the excellent article written by Michael Weinberg titled "British History by the Jug" in the Spring-Summer 2010 Bulletin, pp. 4 and 5.