Blue transfer printed pearlware jug, c.1825

This Dutch form pottery jug with pearlware glaze and sparrow beak spout was made in England in the first quarter of the 19th century. Standing nearly 4.25 inches high and 5.75 inches from handle to spout, it has blue transfer decoration, combining a pastoral scene with a shepherd, ancient ruins, and a lush border of flowers and fruit along the rim.

Well over 100 years ago, the original loop handle became detached and immediate surgery was needed. Luckily for the jug and its owner, a tinker made a metal replacement handle and bolted it to the jug. To help mask the repair, the new handle was painted blue and white to match the existing decoration. Curiously, a hole on the side was filled with lead, much like a cavity in a tooth. Not the most elegant repair job I have seen but it certainly does the trick.

This jug with similar form and decoration shows what my jug might have looked like before its accident.

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Photo courtesy of eBay

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3 Responses to “Blue transfer printed pearlware jug, c.1825”

  1. colman says:

    Andrew,

    How common is it to see the extra step taken here of decorating the handle?
    Also, is the decoration nicely executed? It’s hard to tell from the picture?

    Thanks.

  2. It’s not uncommon to see replacement handles painted to match the body of the piece, but I find this to be more common in later repairs from the late 19th century through the first quarter of the 20th century. Another later practice was to paint over staple repairs. I, of course, prefer to see the repairs unadorned.

    The handle on this jug is painted fairly well, but appears to have been done at home and not by a professional.

  3. colman says:

    Thanks Andrew. Fascinating stuff!

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