"Burlington Ware" Toby Jug

By mwilcox


The first Toby jug was said to have been made in the mid to late 18th century. The creator of the first Toby jug is unknown, most source though attribute it's creation to either the pottery of Thomas Wheildon or John Astbury. The origin of the term also remains unsettled. The first type, typically depicted a “Toby Fillpot” character in late 18th Century attire, such as a tricorner hat, breech-coat and buckled shoes. The figure nearly always is depicted holding a tankard. Some references say Fillpot (or Philpot) was a legendary drinker named Henry Elwes, who is estimated to have consumed two thousand gallons of Ale. Another theory is they were named after the character of Sir Toby Belch in Shakespeare's play, “Twelfth Night”, a character known for his eating and drinking .

This example is a modern version by the English firm of J. Shaw & Sons, which operated from 1931 until about 1963. The “Burlington Ware” stamp on the base of this Toby was used in the 1950's . The Toby's popularity had been revived by the Royal Doulton company in the 1930's with their introduction of a new line of Character jugs. This new found popularity spurred on Toby production by other makers like J. Shaw & Sons, but they were never as popular or sought after as the Doulton variety, which are still in production to this day. In the current market these "Burlington Ware" examples sell at auction in the $30.00- $50.00 range