Lot 44: A Creamware 'Thin Man' Toby Jug, circa 1780
Previously bought at Fieldings 3 months earlier for £1100. Lot: 101
Watching this Thin-man Toby jug sell on-line produced something new.
With a lower estimate of a £1000 the auctioneer received no interest and bidding opened at £500. It quickly spiralled up contested by the Internet and phone bidder who eventually had the highest bid of £2200, with my pc bidding platform asking for £2500. After quite a long pause and the next bid not forthcoming a message was relayed to the auctioneer that the £2200 bid was retracted, the lot was then apparently sold to the Internet at the previous bid of £2000. I am not sure how an electronic recording is reversible on a rejected bid. Surly the lot should have been re-offered without the time waster, as all bids should be null and void unless reinstated by the under-bidder; it then would have every chance of selling at the reserve.
Sales are normally recorded for clarity, but using a personal screen saver program might be a good idea in today's electronic age.
If you are wondering why this Ralph Wood toby jug had an opening bid of just 12 GBP then email me for extra large images. Viewing essential.
Always limit your risk and view.
Result: 500 GBP
Golding Young & Mawer 18.7.18
A full set of eleven Wilkinson Toby jugs, each designed by Sir Francis Carruthers Gould, modelled in the form of First World War Generals, Monarchs, Presidents etc., to include Marshall Foch, King George V, President Wilson, Marshall Joffre, Admiral Beatty, President Botha, Sir John French, Lord Kitchener, Admiral Jellicoe, Lloyd George and Earl Haigh, various sizes, printed signatures and marks to base.
Result: 3600 GBP
Thomas N. Miller 26.6.18
Amongst this tray of ceramic items were two early Prattware Toby jugs and a Leeds type. You have to look closely to spot all three including the damage on them. They didn't escape unnoticed realizing a respectable bid of 320 GBP for all.
The Yorkshire type jug (left) including a Staffordshire Punch door stop was sold at Wright Marshall Ltd. for 80 GBP. The small jug looks to be a replacement for either a small Toby or sparrow beak jug. but still represents good value when overall quality is taken into account. An excellent buy where very little can be lost if left untouched .
The other Toby shown realized 550 GBP at David Lay (compare its price to a much finer similar example in our 'Auction Best Buys'). The suggestion and lack of a pipe will always put some collectors off. I am not certain that this model ever had a pipe or even a cup with comparison jugs also having restored pipes. It isn't uncommon to find an empty raised right hand on later jugs, given the high price there is every possibility that a pipe is intended, lets hope not.
These attractive small Postillion Toby jugs are not as rare as once pronounced. Before the 2006 Skinner sale they would retail around the 500 GBP mark, that sale (Skinner) changed minds with one selling for 3810 GBP. Now with several coming onto the market the prices are returning to realistic levels.
This colourful example has just sold on Ebay for 150 GBP.
This wonderful Toby jug with no restorations was sold at Gildings auction to a very satisfied private collector.
It's been suggested that collectors should be deprived of knowing what's coming to auction via the net. Do we really want to ban 'The-Saleroom.com'.
The buyer/collector of this Toby jug whom I have known for many years was most annoyed and said. 'First we are deprived of knowing if an item is restored or not and now they want to keep all Toby jug auctions sales a secret. They really have no interest in collectors at all.'
Specialist pottery expert Jonathan Horne always encouraged interest in collecting and dealing thus creating a vibrant antique community.
Collectors embrace buying at auction at this popular venue that's building quite a reputation for selling early Toby jugs.
The offerings this time were a mixture of running-glaze, Prattware and two late Delft type jugs, all results can be viewed on our auction pages. The majority were not in the best condition and the few I viewed carried no dealers/collection stickers. Great condition reports were available as usual but a personal inspection was the order of the day. Best prices were paid for the jugs that carried the usual hooks, Village Idiot, Thin Man, Sailor, and Ralph Wood. Although results for these were well above estimates they can still be considered bargains when compared to similar of today's trade offerings. Aesthetics is all important when buying so don't be afraid to ask for more images. Compare the Village Idiot's hat which is the wrong shape and lists to one side, it could be totally restored.
Result: 1150 GBP
This small Fiddler Toby jug caught me by surprise when it came up for sale at my local sale room in Wokingham. Who would have thought such a rarity would turn up so close to the only other similar model that can be seen in the Brighton museum. This small bespoke jug always carries a big price being sort by Early pottery and Toby jug collectors alike. The over-burnt manganese hat was unusual, the orange breeches and porridge crazed glaze different which made viewing essential if you have deep pockets. Consult Pat Halfpenny's books for more information and Toby jug collectors should compare it with the traditional model. I hope the minor damage is never touched on what is probably the nicest one I have seen in over 40 years.
Result: 1150 GBP
Adam Partridge. 22.2.18.
An interesting lot of 4 Toby jugs was sold by Adam Partridge Auctioneers. A green coat running glaze traditional, a Ralph Wood sailor and the remaining two of no consequence. They did extremely well for their condition realizing a bid of 1500 GBP against an estimate of just 60 GBP. All lots are posted on our auction page. Adam Partridge will always oblige with extra photographs posted on their website on request with the usual condition reports alongside description. They certainly helped me. The hat on the geen coat traditional had many cracks that carried into the hair and body, one shoe was restored. Heavy crazed staining is apparent which can be problematic on a white background. I thought the sailor to have been dropped at some time and needed a personal viewing. Extensive cracks around the neck and odd shaped handle should have shouted beware. Did the missing small handle draw your eye away from the main body of the jug.
Result: 1500 GBP
Sale date: 9.3.17
Lot 274. Pratt Ware American Sailor toby jug, circa 1800, wearing an ochre jacket, blue yellow and green striped waistcoat and blue and white striped britches, clutching a jug of foaming ale in his left hand and a mug in his right, seated on his trunk which has the erroneously spelt script 'Dollars' to each side, and anchor between his feet, 30.5cm high
Condition: The handle and the hat show signs of restoration and there are large visible restored cracks running around the back of the chest that the figure is sat on (see extra images), the tankard in the right hand broken off but we have the part, we would recommend viewing this lot in person - General condition consistent with age.
Estimate: 800-1200 GBP
Result: 780 GBP
FORSYTHES AUCTIONS LLC 28.1.18
Two Early Toby Jugs - Including one yelloware example, full standing figure with pitcher of beer in right hand and pipe in left, wearing tri-corner hat and red waist coat with applied C scroll handle, circa 1850 and likely American; and a Dalton type stoneware Toby in two tone glaze, 5 1/2" high.
Result 250 GBP
What would preclude this Toby jug from being 18th century?
A very crude Hearty Good Fellow toby jug (left) has just been sold on EBay for approx. £750-00. This is surprising as buff coloured wares usually make a fraction of the price than those of good traditional colour. The circular decorative patches are similar to that found on buff coloured cow groups, a good reference point when identifying the potters of this jug.
Result 750 GBP
In 2002 when Toby jug prices were at their height the Dollar rate was similar as today. Christies sold a similar Hearty Goodfellow for 2000 GBP see:
They have continued to come onto the market but have fared poorly in comparison to others over the 15 years.
A full set of eleven WW1 Toby jugs realised a bid of 3500 GBP.
That is great value for a complete set when averaged out at 318 GBP each especially Botha that is limited to 250.
Recent estimates ranged between 5-10,000 GBP for a full set.
Sheffield Auction 1.12.17.
Good result for Seven Wilkinson WW1 Toby jugs that have just sold for a bid of 1700 GBP or 243 GBP each
Estimate was 12-1800 GBP
Bonhams Edinburgh 22.2.17.
An enamel sailor toby jug. A Prattware traditional toby jug and a very
nice quality bocage group of the 'Scuffle'.
Presenting these three items together in one lot would have been unthinkable only a few years earlier.
They carried an estimate of 600-900 GBP and received a single winning bid of 500 GBP.
Fielding Auctioneers 7.1.17.
If enamel toby jugs are your choice then there were bargains to be had at Fieldings.
Running glaze toby jugs still remain the collectors preference but prices are not what they once were.
Their first sale of the year included a collection of 19 early toby jugs. Colourful Victorian, Prattware, enamel and running glaze with most having varying degrees of restoration. Attendance by collectors was average with most securing at least one toby with the majority being bought by the trade. I won't mention detail of the restoration which was considerable on some other than to say there were no trade stickers present. I had seen most of these jugs sold at an earlier time so viewing was essential. One jug had been deliberately altered from its original form but there were good buys to be had for the experienced collector. You can view the results on our auction pages. Shown are a few of the most interesting jugs worth a closer look, don't they look wonderful in the photographs, but can you spot the restorations.
All images can be viewed in more detail on Fieldings website.
Can't be bothered to view. No amount of restoration is too much.
Click and Collect - Well. post it if you can!
I have always been a big fan of buying from auction and would recommend you do the same. To have first choice makes all the hard work worthwhile and if successful will set your collection apart if quality is your goal. View leisurely and all will be fine. What possible reason would you have for buying anywhere else other than for paying someone for their experience and expertise.
This account of buying from auction is all you need to read to trust in your own judgement.
A specialist dealer bought several English pottery items from auction. On receipt they were dissatisfied to find that two items had restoration that had not been disclosed in the auction houses condition report. The two pieces were then stripped of the unaccounted restoration material by their restorer and pre restoration photographs taken along with a quotation for reinstatement. The photographs were then sent to the auction house where apparently an appropriate refund was agreed. They then state that it's a shame other auction houses do not act in a similar fashion and refuse to accept responsibility when they issue incomplete condition reports.
I am not sure if this account is to discourage you from buying from auction, it certainly might discourage you from collecting.
If you are unfortunate to have a legitimate complaint, please consider taking the items back.
Restoration should be a last resort not a "Get Out of Jail Free Card".
Here are some useful facts when buying from auction.
Auctioneers can't be expected to be experts in every field and are not obliged to issue condition reports. Reports should be treated as a guide only but can be useful time savers when long journeys are involved. Always view unless practically impossible or you could end up buying a fake, damaged or restored item or simply just not liking it when it arrives through the post ( another risk ). You have to abide by the auction house terms and conditions. They will undoubtedly include a DISCLAIMER which basically means "Buyer Beware". If travel is inconvenient or you just want to keep costs down, expect the worst and not a refund, auctions are not retail outlets.
NB: Larger auction houses use standard condition report forms where the disclaimer is printed as a footnote.
In response to your request we are pleased to provide the following information for guidance only, without legal obligation or prejudice to our standard terms and conditions of sale. This auction house cannot be held responsible for damage or faults that may be missed during our inspection of the item/s in question. The statements contained in this report are expressions of our opinion only and not statements of fact, nor do they imply any basis of fact upon which the opinion is founded. You should not rely upon this report when deciding whether or not to make a bid. Please note that any attached illustrations are intended as a guide only. Colours and general appearance may differ from the original item/s. We strongly recommend that you inspect the lot yourself and consult an independent professional conservator or restorer.
22 bids were placed with the winner paying 380 GBP.
I really like this jug because of its originality. It is not the best quality you will see having most of the black enamel glaze degraded but hasn't flaked exposing the white glaze beneath. The challenge facing any new collector is whether to restore or not and if so in what quantity. I would prefer a little sympathetic restoration to the damaged corners of the hat only; others would paint over the degraded enamel to portray an unblemished jug. It's a shame that choice is slowly disappearing.
Golding Young & Mawer. 16.11.16
Descripton: A 19thC Toby jug, wearing a red coat, carrying a flagon, painted in puce, 26cm high
Neale type toby jug with brightly coloured red coat looked to be in good condition.
With recent high prices for marked examples you would expect this toby to do well.
Sadly it realized just 130 GBP.
Opinions will always differ when a toby jug is as unique as this interesting Yorkshire example which was sold at Woolley and Wallis auctions Salisbury on 13.9.16. It had changed hands several times since being auctioned in the Coil collection at Skinners Boston in 2006 and is one of only three examples I know of that all appeared in the second half of the 20th century,
The Salisbury auction catalogue entry read;
A rare Yorkshire creamware Toby jug c.1780, seated with a massive clay pipe, holding an empty jug moulded with Cupid to two sides and with a face beneath the spout, with caryatid handle, all picked out in a deep manganese and raised on a rare flat base.
Being of stoneware appearance with a treacle type glaze makes it difficult if not impossible to date this bespoke toby jug. There was major damage that added to some troublesome questions that arose from viewing. One dealer with over 35 years experience of toby jugs said "I have looked in all the books and catalogues and it has no history". It did however have two trade stickers on the base, one from Bernard & S. DeanLevy, Inc, who were trading from 1973 and another of Ginsburg and Levy first trading form 1901 and ceasing in 1976. I would be interested to here from anyone that can pre-date the B.S.Dean Levy sticker with a catalogue entry, illustration or museum reference. Another version also with major damage has been recently sold twice by Bonhams.
To begin to make sense of this jug you first have to answer, "why do Bonhams constantly date this model c1820".
For more information on Ginburg and Levy see: http://www.nytimes.com/1983/03/27/arts/antiques-view-a-curtain-falls.html
Border Auctions 27.8.16
Even though this attractive Prattware traditional toby (left) was described as Ralph Wood the estimate of 3-400 GBP turned out to be just too optimistic. Sadly it was passed.
Stamford Auction Rooms 27.8.16
In contrast the miniature running glaze toby fared much better receiving a respectable 440 GBP bid.
The Hearty Good Fellow had its raised Walton scroll removed and was incised Copeland on the remaining white space.
EBay 26.8.16 Item No. 272345984001
For sale on EBay is this marked Spode and Copeland traditional toby jug which looks remarkably like the one sold in Woolley
Wallis on 9.9.14. If you are one that collects factory marks and numbers such as 51 then this could be for you.
At first glance you could be forgiven for thinking both are by Walton notwithstanding the mark.
Having sold six similar WW1 Toby jugs on 3.3.16 with estimates at 300-500 GBP, these eight new offerings from Adam Partridge seem rather cheap being priced at 50-80 GBP and 50-100 GBP. Do check that these values are correct before placing any bids.
Adam Partridge Auctioneers. http://www.adampartridge.co.uk/
Sale date: 30.6.16
Eight separate lots of Wilkinson Ltd Royal Staffordshire Pottery WWI character jug designed by Sir Francis Carruthers Gould
Lot 472. Earl-Kitchener 160 GBP
Lot 473. Lord French 90 GBP
Lot 474. Lloyd George 100 GBP
Lot 475. Marshall Foch 170 GBP
Lot 476. Admiral Beatty 300 GBP
Lot 477. Douglas Haig 160 GBP
Lot 478. Admiral Jellicoe 160 GBP
Lot 479. Marshall Foch 140 GBP
This jug may not be for you but I really like Peter Wilson's comprehensive 14 detailed photographs and condition statement for selling this early Toby jug. Bidding is being conducted in house and live on the Internet. Full size images can be viewed at:
Peter Wilson. https://www.peterwilson.co.uk/
Sale date: 7.7.16
Lot 66. Staffordshire Ralph Wood type toby jug, typically modelled with pipe and ale jug, of the earlier hollow foot variety, early 19th century, 24cm high
Condition report: Old restoration to his hat and the rear corner of the base, chips to the front edge, glaze wear to the handle and the edge of the jug.
Result: 90 GBP
20th Century Decorative Art and Design is becoming more mainstream.
Antiques and Home magazine June 2016 issue ran an article that encouraged readers to display antiques in contemporary room settings even if there was just one antique featured, you should then post it on Pinterest under the heading "Antique with Modern".
Fashion changes and prices will always fluctuate.
18th Century Toby Jug Of Ralph Wood Type.
While working on reviving our archive news reports I came across this Prattware jug that was for sale at Gerrards auction less than two years earlier than the one below. It's good to compare auction estimates which are a good indication on how an auctioneer views the market. Gerrards must have deemed it buoyant as the estimate for this jug was 800-1000 GBP
Gerrards Auction Rooms 26.5.16
It was described by the auctioneers as:
19thC Ralph Wood Style Staffordshire Toby Jug. Odd Chips To Glaze, Height 10 Inches
No Restoration. Good condition, with odd glaze chips and missing glaze to the mug which he is holding in his hand.
Estimate 80-120 GBP
What could be clearer than this description.
Here today we bring you an antique Staffordshire Prattware colour Toby jug.
This jug is Circa 1820 apx 9" tall
There are no markings on the item to show makers mark or where it was made.
There is no major damage to this jug there are some cracks to glaze and some missing glaze/colour
There is some marks to the item
This early 19th century enamel toby had its faults that were more than compensated with a very fair sale result of just 102 GBP. The degraded black might have put some off but far better to see the original condition than a restored painted finish as you will never be sure what other damage lies beneath. It was offered for sale with 8 photographs that highlighted its true condition. If the flaking distracts, touch it up with a special water based model paint that can be easily removed without any further damage, ovoid the sandpaper at all costs.
It seems enamel and Prattware jugs are still considered secondary when compared with running glaze examples.
Description: A majolica Bacchus, Pan and the serpent Wine Jug, 12 1/2in H
This lovely colourful Ralph Wood Bacchuss Toby jug was described as majolica but is instantly recognizable to all collectors of Ralph Wood pieces. Not all liked it enough with the Toby realizing a meager 120 GBP
Estimate was 80-120 GBP
East Bristol Auctions 14.4.16
Having failed to sell on two previous occasions with an estimate of 1000 GBP this nice small Ralph Wood Toby jug is being Re-listed. The new estimate is a very reasonable 300 GBP. My first purchase of this model at auction was in the early eighties at a cost of 600 GBP. Definitely worth following.
Price realized 340 GBP
This colourful jug had a turbulent sale on EBay last week. It was offered at a "Buy it Now" price of around 1200 GBP that gradually reduced to 700 GBP while at the same time being offered with a bidding starting price of 199 GBP. It eventually found its own level selling for 399 GBP.
With over two hundred jugs for sale around the country at this time they can quickly become stale, so it is important to give your toby the right sale attribution. This one was described as:
A Rare English Antique Ralph Wood Pottery of Burslem Staffordshire. Toby Philpot Jug, Whieldon Ware with rare muted colour run glaze, circa 1765.
I have never come across a R.Wood toby with a running glaze black hat and such a heavy handle in all my dealing years. Attribution should always be taken with a pinch of salt and more attention paid to what is before you. This toby only had age related wear which was clearly shown in numerous photographs that buyers seem to prefer. What you should take away from this sale is that a good R.Wood toby can be as little as 399 GBP. There has never been a better time to collect English pottery.
Ref: Ralph Wood Toby jugs.
Not many collectors buy buff or white wares but this salt-glazed toby (top) might change your mind as it's unusually marked S-H Briddon. Marked genuine dated pieces are always nice to have in any collection but if its not for you a record should be kept for future reference.
Last year this similar salt-glaze jug (bottom) was sold in the USA. It passed by without a mention and reminded me of how collecting has changed from historical to decorative. Have a good look at it and see if you think it could be a jug commemorating a changing point in history or just a point in history that changed.
Being sold at Great Western Auctions on the 18.3.16 is this lovely Scottish Toby jug. Twelve photographs will inspire confidence for all collectors worried about buying damage items. Sometimes described as circa 1800, and even one impressed with an implausible 1794 date will still not convince me they are anything other than Victorian. Competitively priced at 60-80 GBP this colourful jug would add to any collection.
Ref: The evolution of the Yorkshire Toby jug.
This was an interesting sale of mixed toby jugs that covered several periods. It was probably assembled in the late 70s when you take into account the old yellowing and part restorations. Notice how all the fine glaze chipping / frosting has been left untouched with only essential work carried out. The unrecorded white toby jug is where you should focus your attention. It is potted in a traditional style with a narrow plinth supporting a flat unglazed base, a real collectors piece but it only achieved a winning bid of $10. I have listed most of the other early jugs but if you want
to see the full auction in greater detail do view Peachtree's own website where each jug can be seen with numerous large photographs for each lot.
Rupert Toovey also had an unusual jug (left) with a flat unglazed base that was signed R Wood. The jovial character was nicely coloured in running glazes and realized a bid of 360 pounds.
peachtreebennett.hibid.com A website to bookmark and follow.
Any jug with a flat unglazed base will always be of interest
Be cautious and view the package as a whole as there is every chance it could be a studio piece or fake. The Peachtree jug was sold at a bargain price of $10 but can you imagine the possibilities if glazed in prattware colours.
Viewing other Staffordshire pottery can be of great help when determining if an iterm is genuine or not. The pair of cow groups are glazed differently from the original Thomas Parr examples Compare them to the small toby jug below. Another clue on how to avoid reproduction toby jugs.
Photo left: Reproduction 20th century cow groups and a Kent factory bull baiting group.
Having a majolica style coat is part of a series of tobies made in the late 19th/20th century. Some of these, including a Rodney's sailor with blue and white tin glaze type finishes, are probably still being made today. For a comparison see Capt. Price page 136, plate LXV where one is shown in black & white and listed as "A Fake".
It was nice to see three toby jugs in this weeks
Basic (£50) Better (£700) & Best (£1400) on the Antiques Roadshow. Henry Sandon featured
them and seemed rather taken aback when presenter Fiona Bruce said 'In the nicest possible way they are just so darn ugly, look at this one
in particular he's covered in spots and his teeth are terrible'. The three pictured below, as you probably know are from left to right,
A Step, Kent and Neale types, but who was crowned best?
They were all described as ordinary types with the Neale proclaimed as best and the Kent one as basic. This judgment caused concern by three collectors who thought the blue coated 'Step type' not so ordinary, eventually they all agreed with Henry after the extensive restoration to the blue jugs head and hat was taken into consideration. It was a pleasant hours viewing which brought back memories of the eighties when Henry appeared on a daytime antiques programme. He wanted to show how the humble Toby had evolved through the ages and three Rodney's Sailors were shown which we provided. We will dig out some old press cuttings and feature a through the ages archive soon.
This is an interesting jug that we have only seen twice, the earliest time being in the late 1980's. We were offered one recently which we will list on our new fakes-contemporary page; this will be on line shortly. It has very unusual relief moulding to the chair back and front of the seat behind his legs, the overall height approximately 11 inches. The hand in front of the little jug is extremely large and of grotesque wrinkled appearance. The size and majolica type glaze suggests a Portuguese type jug but it could also be an early 1980's Chinese copy?