6-1/4" tall Staffordshire earthenware jug in dark blue transfer, "Lafayette at Franklin's Tomb."
The transfer decoration is a depiction of the Marquis de La Fayette, one of the heroes of the American Revolutionary War, sitting in contemplation at Franklin's tomb. Anyone who has actually visited Franklin's grave in Philadelphia knows that the site does not resemble the setting of this imaginary scene!
This pattern was one of the so-called "American Historical" designs manufactured by Enoch Wood and Sons, Burslem, Staffordshire, England between about 1825 and 1840. This pitcher is not marked with a maker's name, but both the pattern and shape are found on wares by Enoch Wood and Sons that do bear marks. The letter "U" is impressed into the clay on the underside of the foot, and there is another mark in transfer, possibly a number.
The jug measures approximately 6-1/4" tall x 5-1/4" deep x 7-1/2" wide and weighs one pound, 4-1/2 oz before packaging. The transfer is deep blue and mostly quite sharp and the glaze is mostly very glossy. As is often the case with Staffordshire transfer ware of this age, there are several areas where the transfer did not "take," leaving white spots; and there is clean crazing in the glaze.
This piece has been professionally restored (chips to the spout have been touched up, and a larger chip at the top edge has been filled in and rather skillfully painted). There are, in addition, several small edge flakes and minor chips, mostly on or near the handle. The handle has a crack near the lower attachment, and there is a crack near the top attachment (we have tried to take clear photos of these). The handle cracks appear to be fairly stable at this time, and we will make sure to package the piece very carefully to avoid further damage in shipping. Finally, there is a small, tight, "crow's foot" in the bottom. There are areas of scratching in the glaze, but these are not apparent except under close examination.
It is very difficult to find pieces in this pattern that are pristine. This example displays well and will make a nice addition to a collection of historic Staffordshire ware.
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