Happy John Royal Doulton Toby Jug

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Happy John Royal Doulton Toby Jug

75.00

This Royal Doulton Happy John Toby Jug is a very traditional piece, harkening back to the very first such drinking vessels from the 1700s. There is an old English drinking song about a man who could drink as much as he could talk. After he died due to the effects of his drinking, his huge body turned to clay. A potter came along and used that to cast a large drinking vessel in his likeness, including his whole body and his head. English manufacturer Royal Doulton adapted the traditional full body jugs to focus instead on interesting faces and shoulders, including figural handles which reflected unique characteristics of the subject.

Hand painted details highlight Happy John's flushed face, framed by long whitish grey hair beneath a black tricorne hat. Swollen, beady eyes and a smiling mouth attest to Happy John's reason for mirth, as does the jug and glass of beer clutched in his hands. A yellow neck scarf with green accents is tied into a large, fashionable bow of the times. A long green overcoat with buttoned vest parts to reveal his orange pants and white stockings. Black buckled shoes firmly anchor him in his brown chair. A plain black handle is attached to the back, rather than a later feature of Royal Doulton character jugs which depicts some type of figural handle related to the characteristics of the subject and details from their distinctive stories.

Royal Doulton introduced Happy John in 1939 and ceased production in 1991.

The Royal Doulton B9 underglaze mark is applied, along with a hand-painted numerical code of 58, dating this piece to 1985. During this period, Royal Doulton began dating their wares in 1927 and added a code number next to the lion and crown emblem. Each successive year after 1927 was indicated with a number; thus 1927 + 58 = 1985. Royal Doulton produced the Happy John Toby Jug between 1939 and 1991.

There is an inscribed numeral on the base, but we were unable to decipher it.

The Toby jug measures approximately 4" in length, as measured to include the handle and the outstretched glass of beer, and 5 3/8" high, as measured to the top of his hat.

There is one area, approximately 1/16" in size, on the inside corner of the black hat where the underlying bisque was not covered with glaze prior to firing.

The figurine is in excellent condition, with absolutely no chips, cracks, or repairs of any kind.

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You might be interested to know there is an American Toby Jug Museum in Evanston, Illinois. Click here to see their website.