Wood & Sons, the 8th generation of the Ralph Wood family of Burslem c1780.
Limited Edition Toby Jugs by Wood & Sons...20th century models.
Most Toby collectors will have heard of the famous Ralph Wood family of Burslem,
but did you know that their 20th century descendants produced a set of limited edition replica toby jugs
styled in the manor of those 18th century originals
To test its popularity production was started in the 1970's with a traditional Ralph Wood model that was limited to 1000. They were manufactured and sold under the name of Wood and Sons England, the 8th generation descendants. If successful they would be followed by a set of 6 differing models of limited edition's that were advertised alongside the traditional and were available for pre-ordering. All were styled from 18th century originals and on completion the moulds were to be destroyed. Five of the six were produced but the last one, a Hearty Good Fellow was never made before the company changed hands, it was later made by Tony Wood Studio 82 but not in the original size which was slightly larger.
The traditional and the series are listed below.
A Ralph Wood Traditional model wearing a brown jacket and supporting a detachable hat. Limited to 1000.
The original series of six was intended to be limited to 500 each.
Toby Philpot (Benjamin Toby) smoking a pipe with a detachable hat.
Please note that: Toby Philpot (Benjamin) was found either in light and dark green jackets and he holds a pipe not a beaker as some thought. The pipe bowl is detachable being pushed into the outside of his raised hand and is susceptible to breakage or loss.
Lord Howe & Rodney's Sailor were specially boxed and all models were originally sold with certificates of production status with corresponding numbers to each base.
Hearty Goodfellow, the last jug of the series that was produced by Tony Wood Studio 82.
Wood and Sons Toby Jugs of - Ralph Wood Traditional - Lord Howe - Traditional with pipe.
Wood and Sons Toby Jugs of - The Squire - Rodney's Sailor - Martha Gunn.
Left. An original limited edition certificate from a Ralph Wood replica toby. Right: Hearty Goodfellow toby that was potted in a smaller size by the Tony Wood Studio 82. Height 9-inches.
A brief history of the Wood & Sons factory.
After brisk business in the early 1970's, the recession started causing difficulties from 1979. From then on it was a turbulent potting era at the works, sales slowed and by 1982 the receivers were called in. The toby range then finished but the factory did continue working in table wares under the name Wood & Sons, albeit the Woods as a family were no longer running the works, it closed in 2005.
From 1982 Tony Woods studio 82 started up with a smaller toby range, moving their business into mail order deliveries. They continued until 1991 when the receivers were called in and the factory closed.
Valuations for these items are still quite low with collectors who may never aspire to a genuine Martha Gunn, Lord Howe or Squire still enjoying their appeal.
While exhibiting at the NEC Birmingham we were asked to present something of interest for the evening TV news bulletin. After discussing a genuine Ralph Wood Martha Gunn that we had for sale, some that viewed must have thought their limited editions were "the real thing". Unfortunately, to their and our disappointment they all turned out to be replicas.
To an early collector's eye the modern tobies are heavy, thickly potted and of course have 20th century glaze. They have not been made to deceive, all their potting factory information should be found on Toby's base.