Mason’s ironstone octagonal jug with serpent/Hydra handle, decorated in red transfer. The main, Asian-inspired, pattern features pheasant-like birds perched on a flowering tree or shrub. A wide floral band in a matching pattern runs around the top of the jug.
We have found pieces online in an identical pattern, but the name varies — most often it is referred to as “Long Tailed Pheasant,” but it is sometimes called “Oriental Pheasants” or “India Pheasant.”
The red transfer pattern is colored with over-glaze enamels in yellow, shades of green, rose, blue and iron red. The serpent handle is painted over all in dark green, with mustard yellow details outlining the “face” of the creature.
The jug bears one of the classic “Mason’s” marks on the underside, a crown with a drape inscribed “Patent Ironstone China.” That mark was used by the Mason’s of Lane Delph, Staffordshire beginning around 1845, but was also used by G.L. Ashworth & Bros. of Hanley, Staffordshire when that company bought Mason’s molds and patterns when Mason's went bankrupt around 1848. We feel that this pitcher likely was made by Ashworth, probably between the 1850s and 1890, when “England” began to appear within the marks.
Measurements: the jug stands about 11.75" tall and weighs a little over four and one half pounds. Estimated shipping weight will be 8 pounds.
Condition: as is very common with pieces of this type and age, there is fine, clean, crazing in the glaze. As should be visible in the photos accompanying this listing, there is an area of staining near the bottom; this appears to be old. Otherwise, the piece is in good condition, with no cracks, chips or repairs that we have been able to find. The only other flaws to be found on the jug are some areas in which the enamel color has flaked off from handling, washing and having been used.
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