Pearlware Child's Milk Jug
MONTHS OF THE YEAR ~~ APRIL & JUNE
Swansea, England c. 1840
This is a superb child's transferware pitcher or milk jug made around 1840. The jug stands 4 inches tall with an applied handle bulbous middle and moulded spout. Transfer printed in brown against a creamy earthenware with light blue cast of pearlware glaze on the bottom. Embellished with four-color hand clobbering in blue, green, red, and yellow, the top rim and spout has a band of wild roses inside and out.
One side of the jug features features the month of April, depicted as a young boy wearing a pilgrim hat, with watering bucket on the ground. He is busy twining vines around a tree trunk in the garden, surrounded by an abundance of blooming flowers and vines. The reverse side features the month of June, depicted as a young boy resting from the strenuous work of pitching hay. He is seen wearing a pilgrim flask across his chest.
The pitcher was made as part of a series featuring the 12 months and 4 seasons of the year. The piece resembles children's wares hailing from the Staffordshire region, but according to my research, and as discussed in Noel Riley’s book Gifts for Good Children, it is likely that it was made in one of several Northern factories, particularly the Ynysmedwy Pottery near Swansea.
Plates, cups, bowls and jugs with images like this were made in the early to mid-19th century to be given as gifts for a special occasion or rewards of merit and were also used to aid in the education of young children.
The pitcher is in good used condition, with no chips or cracks. Crazing throughout and glaze wear along the rim and handle consistent with prior use. A small gouge on the side, and other minor factory flaws, original to the making. The transfers have intricate detail and whimsical styling. This lovely printed jug will make a gorgeous addition to any serious collection of early children's wares and would be a fabulous gift for someone with children born in the month of April and June. Offered as is.