Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Tam O'Shanter jug
Q: My husband and I bought this beautiful pitcher in a little antiques shop in Milford, Connecticut, for $150. Since then we haven't had any luck finding any information on it. On the bottom it says "Published by W. Ridgway Son & Co./Hanley/September 1st 1840."

A: Your pitcher is sometimes called the Tam O'Shanter jug. The relief-molded figures illustrate Robert Burns' poem, "Tam O'Shanter," written in 1790. It tells the story of Tam being chased by witches after a night of drinking in the pub. Ridgway first made this design in 1840. It also was made in slightly different shapes, with a different handle, and with a pewter lid. W. Ridgway was one of a series of companies with the name Ridgway in the Staffordshire district in England. William Ridgway, Son & Co. was in business at the Church Works in Hanley from c.1838-1845. An identical jug sold last year for $80, although at previous auctions it has brought $200.


Laura said...

I think this jug is actually W. Ridgway, Son & Co.'s Jousting Jug, which was registered on that date. In the photo, it appears the jug depicts a knight on horseback under gothic arches. The jug is similar in shape to Ridgway's "Tam O'Shanter" jug, which was registered on October 1, 1835. The Jousting Jug is believed to have been designed to commemorate the Eglington Tournament of 1839.

I collect English 19th century moulded relief jugs like this and I love them!

oshaugnessy said...

I just acquired a miniature jousting jug by W. Ridgway, Son & Co. too. It stands only 5" tall is white and has gold outlining throughout it. It also has Hanley and a month but I cannot read the month. It appears to have 1840 after the month and then at the very bottom it has the number 30. I'm not sure but it also seems to have a letter 'L' at the very top - not sure what that mark is. Do you have any additional information on it? Can you give me an idea as to it's value? I can provide pictures on request - thank you in advance for any information!

Bill said...

I think Laura is correct, this may not be the "Tam O'Shanter" jug, because the registration date on the bottom should be the October 1835 date. My jug is 6 inches to the top of the handle, and on the side not shown in the picture you see 5 persons that appear to be having a great time at a pub. The color of clay is a buff biege, with no other color added. Great to see others enjoy these jugs.

Anonymous said...

I believe I have the same pitcher as in the photo. Bottom reads: Published By: W Ridgeway & Co, England Oct 1st 1835. It is the same knights jousting scene. I bought it about 30 years ago at a flea market.