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Beer jug with greyhound handle: C.48-1981

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Beer jug with greyhound handle


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




Relief moulded, smear-glazed, stoneware jug.

Press-moulded mustard yellow stoneware, circular in plan, with bowed sides, sharp shoulder and cylindrical neck expanding at the front to form an upward-tilting spout. The handle is in the form of a greyhound with its front paws resting on the rim and supporting its head and its hind legs and tail resting on the body below the shoulder. The body is decorated in relief with hunting scenes: on one side, hounds attack a boar; on the other, hounds attack a stag. Above, there is a scalloped border and round the neck there is a wavy hop stem. The interior is fully glazed and glossy. The underside is recessed and smear-glazed.


History note: Countess Shelagh S. Rietberg, Cambridge

Legal notes

Given by Countess Shelagh Rietberg

Measurements and weight

Height: 14.8 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Hanley ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1981-10-12) by Rietberg, Shelagh, Countess


19th Century, Early#
Circa 1819 CE - 1823 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. The hops around the neck of this jug suggest that it was intended for beer.

This is one of the very earliest designs of this type of jug. On other surviving examples, the makers’ name is impressed on the collars of the dogs hunting the boar, as well as on that of the dog-handle. Phillips and Bagster was a partnership formed in 1818, the partners being Jacob Phillips and John Denton Bagster. From c.1823-28, the business continued under the latter’s sole name and produced, inter alia, more examples of this jug. A version with some variations to the hunting scenes and moulding was also made by William Ridgway & Co, which took over Church Works in 1831. James Leonard Abington (also recorded as Leonard James Abington), who joined Phillips & Bagster in 1819 and worked as designer and modeller for all three businesses, perhaps produced this design. Abington was also a Baptist minister, editor of the Pottery Mercury and helped found the local Pottery Philosophical Society, where he lectured on a wide variety of science topics. He later became Ridgway’s partner in Ridgway & Abington.

Components of the work

Interior composed of glaze
Body Width 11.5 cm
Handle To Spout Width 15.5 cm

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Press-moulding : Mustard yellow stoneware, relief-moulded and smear-glazed stoneware; glazed interior.

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: 18
  • Location: Underside of base, on rim
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Mark

Inscription present: indistinct

  • Location: Handle, on dog's collar
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.48-1981
Primary reference Number: 75252
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Thursday 7 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Beer jug with greyhound handle" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-05-19 20:52:51

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