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'Sailor's Return' Jug: C.1090-1928

An image of Commemorative jug

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


'Sailor's Return' Jug


Factory: Scott Brothers & Co (Possibly)
Scott's Southwick Pottery ((alternative name))




White earthenware, transfer-printed in black with text and images, and painted with enamels and pink lustre.

Ovoid body tapering slightly to a projecting foot, with cylindrical neck, curved spout and loop handle. Decorated on the body with four transfer-prints over-painted with enamels. The rim is coated with mottled pink lustre and there are squiggles of pink lustre on the body, between the transfers. There are two pink lustre bands round the foot and a pink line runs down the back of the handle. The underside is flat and glazed, with a raised foot-rim.

The images and text are as follows:
(i)To left of handle: 'THE SAILOR'S FAREWELL', above an image of same with a ship in the background, above verse: 'Far from Home across the Sea/To Foreign climes I go./While far away O think on me/And I'll remember you'.
(ii)To right of handle: 'THE SAILOR'S RETURN', above an image of same with ship, above verse: 'Now safe returned from dangers past/With joy I hail the shore./And fear no more the tempests blast/Nor Oceans angry roar.'
(iii) Under the spout, to the left: a trophy with a lion, an eagle, the Union Jack, the French flag, a shield inscribed 'CRIMEA', and the words, 'MAY THEY EVER BE UNITED. VIVe L'EMPREUR GOD SAVE THE QUEEN'.
(iv) Under the spout to the right, in a wreath, the lines: 'England, England, the glorious name/Home of freedom star of fame/Light o'er Ocean widely sent/Empress of the element/Gorgeous sea encircled gem/Of the world's bright diadem/ Nations nations to command/Who but points admiring hand/To thee our own our native land'.


History note: Billson collection until 1908. Sold at Sotheby’s 21 December 1908 with two other Sunderland jugs, lot 120, for 10 shillings. Bought by Mr S. Fenton for Dr Glaisher, Trinity College, Cambridge.

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 22 cm
Width: 27.5 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Sunderland ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1928) by Glaisher, J. W. L., Dr


19th Century, Mid#
Victoria I
Crimean War
Circa 1854 CE - Circa 1856 CE


Images of ‘the Sailor’s Farewell and Happy Return’, popular from the mid-18th Century in engravings or on ceramic plaques as well as on jugs and bowls, were used as a mark of patriotism during the Crimean War. A contemporary account records that ‘The Sailor’s Farewell’, hung on the wall when the sailor left shore, would be swapped for ‘Return’ when he came safely home.

Sunderland potteries were particularly known for their use of thinly hand-painted lustre, together with hand-painted transfer-prints which feature designs, verses and mottos. The designs usually have local or topical relevance and often allude to seafaring. Scott Brothers (also known as Scott’s Pottery), founded in 1788, was one of the most important Sunderland producers of lustre transfer-print designs and had a substantial export market as well as domestic customers.

The ‘Crimea’ transfer dates the jug to the time of the Crimean War, 1853-56. It was used by Scott Brothers on jugs, mugs and bowls, although the design is thought to have been bought from another pottery, known as ‘Garrison’, and was also used by Moore. Designs were frequently copied between potteries and the original copper printing plates changed hands when firms closed. All three verses have been found on bowls made by Scott Brothers and by other Sunderland potteries such as Moore, Ball and another known as ‘Garrison’. The poem ‘England, England…’ is the first of two verses by Richard Howitt, published in ‘The Metropolitan Magazine’ in 1852 and later in the author’s collected poems. The first verse of the poem was also printed, alongside ‘Crimea’ and an image of a frigate, on a large jug exhibited at the Royal Naval Exhibition 1891 (cat. p.319-20, 2922). Three of the four transfers used here (‘Crimea’ , ‘Farewell’ and ‘Return’) are found on a pink-lustred punchbowl, marked ‘SCOTT’S / PARIS’, in the Fitzwilliam Collection (C.96-1997). The National Maritime Museum holds a Sunderland pink lustre jug, c.1854, of similar shape with the same ‘Sailor’s Farewell’ and ‘Crimea’ transfers, though other aspects of the decoration are different (No. AAA5175).

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of ceramic printing colour ( black) enamel ( blue green, yellow, red and black) lustre

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production


References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1090-1928
Primary reference Number: 71296
Old object number: 2986
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Wednesday 13 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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