Oversized octagonal ironstone jug or pitcher in black transfer and over glaze polychrome enamels, made in England in the 1800s. The pitcher features a Hydra (serpent-like) handle.
The decoration on the jug is an elaborate “Chinoiserie” type, incorporating a floral border around the top; an over all pattern resembling reptilian scales; and Asian inspired motifs and reserves featuring people in Chinese costume at leisure. The scale pattern is colored in a bold orange enamel; the other decoration is painted in shades of yellow, rose, light and dark green and blue. The scales on the Hydra are transfer printed and the creature is painted in green and orange. The head of the Hydra and the top edge are painted with peach or orange luster.
There is a printed mark on the bottom of the jug. It is the mark of Charles James Mason (Fenton Works, Lane Delph, Staffordshire, England), which produced earthenwares and its famous ironstone pottery in the second half of the 1840s. (The name written in marker on the base ring likely can be removed by the buyer.)
Measurements: approximately 9¾ inches high x 8 inches diameter x 9 inches at the widest point from the spout to the handle. The piece weighs four pounds, five ounces before packaging. Shipping weight will be about 9 pounds.
Condition: Excellent for a piece of this vintage. Careful inspection has revealed no breaks, repairs or restorations to the pottery itself. We have found no edge chips, cracks or crazing in the glaze. The only evidence of wear or slight damage is some flaking of the enamel (mostly the orange on the sharp edges dividing the panels; we have placed an arrow on one of the photos pointing out a noticeable example.) Based on the texture of a few spots in the dark green enamel, we feel there may be a few small spots of inpainting (touch up painting) on the wide band of dark green near the top.
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