Pottery and Ceramics
History of the Toby Jug
Toby Jugs have been around since the early 18th century.
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The first Toby Jug was made in the early 18th century.
Collecting FactorsOther factors which aid dating and can affect value includes color differences.
Like, the first clown range of jugs produced in the 1930s had red hair and multicolored handles, but due to the war time restrictions on the supply of materials, the hair during the war years was changed to brown.
Between 1951 - 1955 hair color had changed to white.
Red or brown haired clowns are two to three times more valuable than the white ones, but the most valuable is the one of a black haired clown, commissioned by a family whose grandfather was a black haired clown.
This was sold at auction a few years ago for $16,143.00.
Old King Cole, designed by Harry Fenton, had a yellow crown in 1938 -1939 and a green handle and is quite a bit more valuable than the ones produced afterwards until 1960, which had a reddish-brown crown and handle.
Even more valuable are the ones which contained musical movement and was produced in 1939.
One of these sold at Phillips for $1,469.00.
The Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland wore a black hat in the original, but ten years ago a red hatted Hatter came to the market and was sold for over $8,072.00.
It appears that in the 1960's, a painter in the factory changed the color of the hat and this was produced for a short period before it was discontinued.
Another example are the color differences in the buttons, hat, coat and feather boa of Hary Fenton's character jugs of the cockney pair 'Arry and 'Arriet which have made a big difference to the values.
Once in a while the jugs have been discontinued after a limited period for an unexpected reason and this also affects the value.
One prime example was in 1984 with the Clark Gable character jug which was produced for the US market.
About 2,000 were sent to America as a trial but the likeness was not approved by his estate.
Doulton recalled and destroyed all those that were sent back and stopped further production.
Those which remained on the market can get about $3,363.00 each, compared to the other celebrity jugs of the time including Mae West, Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Durante and Groucho Marx, whose likenesses fetch only a small fraction of that figure.
The exception is the original prototype of the Groucho Marx figure which included two of his brothers looking around the cigar shaped handle.
High production costs led to their removal from the production line.
Another popular jug which was withdrawn because the image was disliked, was that of Churchill, designed by Noke in 1940.
Strictly speaking this was a loving cup rather than a character jug because it had two handles.
Made in cream during the Battle of Britain, it was withdrawn after 18 months because Churchill was not pleased with it and today it has a value in excess of $8,072.00.
Two colored versions were also produced.
One of these was sold at Sothebys a few years ago for $22,197.00.
One of the rarest character jugs ever made, characterized a schoolboy Toby Gillette, who had his wish made true on the Jim'll Fix It program.
Only three copies were made.
Two sold at Sotheby's for $20,179.00 each and the third is now in the Royal Doulton Museum.
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