Extraordinary Huge Colorful Frog Mug Loving Cup
Elsmore & Forster Staffordshire England c1860
This is a huge, irresistible transfer printed ironstone loving cup, probably made originally as a presentation piece at a local tavern. It stands 5 inches tall, 9 inches across including the molded handles...so big it needed two handles to hold it. Transfer printed in black with hand-painted high enamel paint and lustres and iron red rims. It was made by the Staffordshire England firm of Elsmore and Foster, Clayhills Pottery, Tunstall, which operated between 1853 and 1871. These frog mugs, loving cups and related puzzle jugs and other barware accessories were wildly popular in pubs and gambling establishments in Victorian England.
This mug has 8 animals – Robin (bird), goat, lion, pair of frollicking kittens, brown bear, elephant, squirrel and cat – has 3 frogs crawling in the bottom and sides. The unsuspecting drinker who picks up the mug after a sip or two and the frogs will appear! Elsmore and Forster produced various examples of them, all decorated with engraved images relating to circus animals and popular theatrical entertainment, possibly used to publicize special events. Animal images printed on jugs are uncommon. The mug was decorated using old theatrical and chap book engravings which they transfer printed in different combinations on various-sized jugs loving cups and mugs. A perfect two-handled mug to celebrate or to entertain a grown-up child.
The cup is in great condition with no chips cracks or repairs, fully functional and great to display. Typical glaze crazing consistent with prior use and age. Clear transfers and amusing decoration! A great looking decorative loving cup, a must for any advanced transferware collection.
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