Child's Transferware Nursery Mug
THE HOP GATHERER
Staffordshire England c. 1850
This whimsical children's transferware mug dates to the late-19th century. This diminutive cup stands 2 3/4" tall x 2 3/4" wide excluding the applied handle. It is an engine cut foot rim. The mug is transfer printed in sepia brown embellished with bi-color hand clobbering of a red and green wash and finished with a light pearlware glaze. The mug is decorated with the image of a farmer who is gathering hops in hop field or hop garden, with a hop filled box to his left and a cozy country house behind him where he will brew the hops and drink an ale. Superb nae imagery from a series of illustrations featuring the alphabet of nature and animals, originally published as an early childs primer book.
The mug is unmarked. It hails from the Staffordshire region of England in the early to mid part of the 19th century.
Mugs and plates like this were made as gifts for children and rewards of merit, used to aid in children's education and moral training, and to encourage their imaginations in the 19th century. This mug is from series illustrated in the ceramics reference book "Gifts for Good Children” by Noel Riley published by Richard Dennis Publications. The mug is a gentle reminder of a much simpler time in childhood and schooling.
It is well made and in great condition with no wear, no chips, no cracks or repairs. Manufacturing imperfections and fine overall glaze crazing typical of the period. It is amazing that this little piece was made for a child so long ago!
Children's early mugs of this quality are quite scarce and highly sought after. The images on the mug are delightful, a real find for botanists growers and ale lovers. The cup will make a great addition to your collection of ABC transferware and early children's mugs and plates.