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George IV jug with lion handle: C.41-1981

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


George IV jug with lion handle


Pottery: Phillips & Bagster (Possibly)
Modeller: Abington, James Leonard (Perhaps)




Mustard yellow, relief moulded, smear-glazed stoneware.

Jug, circular in plan with bulbous body, short straight neck, pinched spout and over-arching handle, standing on a thin footring. The handle is moulded in the form of a lion, his head looking down inside the jug. Below the spout is a bust of George IV in profile to left imposed on a sunburst. On each side is a flying Victory holding out a wreath towards him. On each side of the neck are a rose, a thistle and a shamrock, with a two stylised rosettes around the spout. The interior is fully glazed and glossy. The underside is recessed and smear-glazed.


History note: Gift, anonymous, 1981

Legal notes

Gift, anonymous, 1981

Measurements and weight

Height: 19.3 cm
Width: 19.5 cm

Relative size of this object

19.5 cm19.3 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Place(s) associated

  • Hanley ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1981) by Anonymous


19th century
Circa 1820 CE - 1830 CE


Relief moulded jugs (some with ceramic or metal lids), in a wide variety of design, were popular in mid-19th Century homes, where they were used for water, beer, milk and other liquids which might now be kept in bottles, cans or plastic jars. The smear-glazing makes the most of the way that colour-stained clays show off crisply-moulded ornament, whilst the stoneware would be durable in an everyday setting. There are several examples in the Fitzwilliam Collection.

This is an early design and the animal handle is unusual. It was was produced in at least three different sizes, though few examples have survived and none of these is dated. The George IV portrait is similar to medals made to celebrate his accession in 1820, so the jug may have been made at that time or perhaps to commemorate his death in 1830. A jug with handle formed as a hound and hunting scenes, made by Phillips & Bagster of Hanley, has been dated by Henrywood to 1818-23, the earliest that such relief moulded jugs are known to have been made. Versions of that jug were subsequently made by John Denton Bagster, 1823-28, and by William Ridgway, though not until 1831 or after. All three operated from the same works at Hanley and employed James Leonard Abington (who later became Ridgway’s partner) as a designer and modeller. It therefore seems possible that this jug, made 1820-1830, was made by Phillips and Bagster, or J.D.Bagster, and perhaps modelled by Abington.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Interior composed of lead-glaze

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Press-moulding : Yellow stoneware, the interior glazed. Press-moulded in two halves with integral reliefs

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: 'I ' and '6'
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.41-1981
Primary reference Number: 74967
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Monday 26 September 2022

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "George IV jug with lion handle" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-06-01 21:21:34

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