1830's Antique Ironstone English Robin Transferware Sparrow Beak Jug
This is a great little old English Robin transfer ware hand painted ironstone sparrow beak jug found in Totnes, Devon, England. The condition is clean all around with firing rubbings under the glaze, and overall crazing commensurate to its approximately 190 year old age. The bottom rim has nicks from the firing process, all under glaze."Sparrow Beak" refers to the shape of the spout.
The robin is the small red breasted bird with a long history in British culture as its most familiar bird. An iconic wintertime bird, their image adorns Christmas greetings and decorations first made popular in early Victorian times. Robins feature in children's books, literature, poetry, and love poems with extensive literary, historical, and scientific references. The Robin Redbreast is synonymous with English countryside, as well as being featured in the works of Blake, Chaucer, and Wordsworth. Interestingly, the robin is also known for singing at night, and their beautiful eggshells have elicited "Robin egg's blue" as an accepted colour. Seen as a friend, it is considered extremely unlucky to cause harm to a robin. An early English rhyme states “The blood on the breast of a robin that’s caught, brings death to the snarer by whom its caught”. The European Robin was recently chosen in 2015 as Britain's national bird by poll.
The colours of this jug are orange reds, russet, light green. She sports a prominent red breast. Click images to see the condition in very close up and movable views. It has a wonderful black and white running trim inside the jug on outside edge and spout. The hand painting is rather crude and folky, probably done by a child, as many were in the early pottery trade. Overall it has an early folk art feel. A beautiful and uncommon little early Vicrorian piece we have not before seen.
Size: 3.25 high x 4 inches wide with handle
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Book: Anthology of British Cups, Michael Berthoud 1982 (Coffee Cans too)