This ironstone puzzle just has a hollow handle leading to a hole in the bottom. When filled with liquid, keeping a finger on another hole inside the handle keeps liquid in the handle; releasing your finger lets liquid spill out. This is the same principle that allowed you to pick up liquid from your glass by keeping your finger on top of the drinking straw (until your mother made you stop doing that). In the nineteenth century, this provided entertainment at pubs and gatherings. They didn't have television yet.
Now that we have covered its impractical usage, on to the decoration. The jug is covered with transfers of a clown on each side (believed to be a representation of the English clown, Joseph Grimaldi). In addition, there are a series of labeled cockfighting scenes.
Manufactured by Elsmore and Forster, England circa 1860. Their mark is printed in black on the bottom. Related examples can be seen in "An Illustrated Guide to British Jugs" by Henrywood.
Size: Approximately 9" high
Condition: Excellent. No chips, cracks or repairs. Overall glaze crazing as expected. Note that I try to be conservative about condition descriptions, carefully noting any flaws. Of course, with antique items, there will be some signs of usage, and/or manufacturing defects. But overall, my customers have always been pleasantly surprised upon receiving their items, and of course, I would expect a return if I happen to miss anything.
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