Talk:Toby jug

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Toby Jug or Character Jug ?[edit]

The definitive difference between the toby jug and the character jug is that a toby jug depicts the whole person, and the character jug only the head and shoulders.

Georgian or Victorian ?[edit]

Toby jugs are normally classified as before 1820, or after that date. There are no set exact examples, but here are the key points about deciding the age of a toby.

Pre 1820
Hollow legs
Light biscuit glaze
Well defined face
Seperately moulded mug
Pipe by side of leg
Thinly potted

After 1820

Dark heavy colours
Painted face features
Legs moulded as part of body
Pipe moulded to body or in right hand
Heavy potting
Horizontal line around the base
Crackle on glazing
Dated on base, 1792

Here are different types of Toby Jugs :-[edit]

This is an ordinary jug with a boat shaped shield on his left side, containing the words, "when tis emty, then fill him agian". Very few of these exsist and are attributed to Ralph Wood, made circa 1770, and there are about 12 known examples. Vic Schuler searched for such a jug for most of his life, and eventually bought one and was in such a bad condition, it almost had to be put back together bit by bit. This jug then featured as the centre peice on the cover of his new book. Kevin Francis also did a reproduction version, using photos of Vic's jug, but he woulnd'nt let them have the original. This reproduction is quite good, but does not have the same colouring, and compared to the original, looks very heavily potted. File:Shieldtoby.jpg

Hearty Good Fellow
A standing toby, originating in the late 18th century, but mostly puduced in the Victorian era. Shows a standing man, pipe in left hand, jug of ale in right hand, both help tightly to his chest, later Victorian examples have the annotation "Heary Good Fellow" on the base.

Very fine example, showing a blue coated sailor, sitting on an oblong sea chest, sometimes with the wird "dollars" on the side. He has his left hand slightly outstretched, admiring a tankard of ale. Blue striped trousers. These jugs are highly sought after, and the best ones were made by Ralph Wood, but modern repros from Woods are available.

Gin Woman
Standing woman, in full 18th century skirt, inbibing from a cup, seemingly drunk.

Hands in Pockets
Exanctly what is says, a standing man, with happy expression, look downwards, with both his hands in his pockets.

Like an ordinary, with the exception of his right hand, which is holding a glass, raised as if he is admiring it.

Most toby jugs can be described as this/ Elderly man, with tricirn hat, sitting on a chair, wearing a frock coat, with a large jug of ale on his left knee, with his right hand in front of the jug. The handle is formed as part of the back of the chair.

Martha Gunn
Jug named after a famous wmona, native of Brighton, who was the bather to the Prince of Wales, Normally show standing, with the proince of Wales feathers in the centure of her hat.

Large jug, show a very splendid nam with a hooked nose, on a Chipendale chiar, holding a vase shaped jug, and early example have him holding a pipe in his left hand. Most examples the pipe has broken off, some examples have the pipe completely missed off.

Snuff Taker
Standing toby, with the hands at about chest hight, one hand holding the snuff tin, the other hand taking a pinch of snuff. These jugs are mostly from the Victorian era.

Drunken Parson or Dr Johnson
Toby of a seated man, normally black coated, with his perri wig coming adrift, and spilling a jug of ale on his lap. If the man has a white cravat, then it is normally refered to as a drunken parson, any other colour would be a Dr Johnson.

Puzzle Jug
Designed to be a party trick. The drinker has to seal off outlets along the outside of the jug, and then tip the jug up for drinking, if done incorrectly then the drinker get wet. Quite an unusual and expensive jug. Dated about 1780-1820.

Never has one man been depicted by so many toby jugs. There could be a book written on this man and toby jugs alone. There are some vary famous and valuable ones, Jarvis being the most famous, several depicting Churchill in various uniforms or poses, such as Battle of Britain, Admiral, Siren suit, others with bulldogs or Lions at his feet, and nearly all showing that famous victory sign.

Village Idiot
Not really a definate specific jug, but this type has the eyes that are painted to give that vacant look.

Showing the famous Neson as depicted atop of Trafalgar Square. Complete with missing arm, naval coat and hat, and his foot on a coiled up rope, a practice that Nelson would certainly not have done, concidered very dangerous. These jugs were not made earlier then 1858 as they were made to commorate the erection of Nelsons colunm in London, not his death.

Almost any jug with a red coat and gold or yellow buttons.

Negro or Collier
Almost any jug with a black face. Sometimes the hands are the same colour. Also because colours were difficult to get exact and pure black was almost impossible, the colour cliould turn out any shade of blue. Early examples are very expensive and collectable.

Night Watchman
Not actually a night watchman, but made in the shape of a famous preacher called Whitfield, who used to preach to vast audiances, and demonstarte is sermons with a lamp. Some examples are made by Enoch Wood, most others are Victorian. Colours are mostly gree or brown. The jug also shows that Whitfield suffered a stroke, the left eye has a squint, and the pouring spout is situated on the back. There are 3 known sizes.

Barrel Toby
Almost any toby with a bareel, which is normally between the legs. These jugs are normally about 1800, and made by Whieldon, have a brown patterned coat, and the side of the base is decoracted small repeated motifs. There is also a toby produced where the toby jug collecter, Vic Schuler is depicted as emerging from a barrel.


Prince Hal

Punch and Judy
Toby jugs modelled in the form of this well known puppet characters. Almost exclusively victorian, both jugs are dressed as clowns, with conical hats.

These jugs can come in either seated or standing form. Ehen originally made in about 1800, they were truely a magnificent jug, but later victorian variations have diluted some of the best features, and massed produced model domiinate the market. Here are the main features that make a yorkshire :-

Scolloped design on hat

Eyebrows made of dots

Jug leans slightly to the left

The small jugs he's hold is another toby jug

A Curly pipe is held in his right hand

A dog under his feet

Brilliant colours, in particular the waistcoat

Here are some famous late 18th Century Makers[edit]

Ralph Wood

Enoch Wood




Here are some 20th Century Makers[edit]






Devon Moor

Kevin Francis

Royal Doulton


H J Woods

Shorter and Sons

Tony Wood

Roy Kirkham




Woods and Sons

Books about Toby Jugs[edit]

Collecting Britsh Toby Jugs
by Vic Schuler

Good Sir Toby
by Desmond Eyles

Toby and Character Jugs of the 20th Century and Their Makers
by David C. Fastenau & Stephen M. Mullins

Toby and Character Jugs
by Graham McLaren

  • English Imari , with Toby : "les Imari anglais" , author : Georges Le Gars, publisher : Massin, Paris 2007 ,(website :