Gallons Of Toby Jugs To Go Under The Hammer

Toby JugThe
summer season at Bonhams Knightsbridge starts in earnest with
a nod to Britain’s historic drinking culture, as an extensive
collection of late 18th and early 19th century “Toby Jugs”
go under the hammer in a sale of Staffordshire Figures and Blue-Printed
Earthenwares on 11 May.

Legend has it that one Henry Elwes, a Yorkshireman, died in
1761 having drunk an estimated 2,000 gallons of beer from a
brown jug, and was nicknamed “Toby Fillpot” – hence,
‘Toby’ jug. The name may also derive partly from a
close association with the words ‘Tope’ and ‘Toper’
– meaning to habitually drink intoxicating liquor to excess
– something it seems Toby Fillpot enjoyed!

Toby Jug
These iconic English drinking vessels have proved their worth
on the market time and time again, and over 35 examples are
to go under the hammer at Knightsbridge ranging in estimated
price from £350 – 450 for a standard model, to the sale
highlight, an ‘Admiral Lord Howe’ jug, at £3,000
– 5,000.

While Toby jugs were originally practically associated with
18th century tavern culture – drinking songs, carrying quarts
of ale and witnessing hearty entertainment – it is more likely
that those to be sold at Bonhams were created in more of an
ornamental spirit; a fact reflected by their impracticality
for use but also by their level of craftsmanship and handling
of character.

For more details visit the Bonhams
web site.

Visit the Toby & Character Jugs
message board


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