This interesting creamware jug caught my eye whilst browsing through some auction catalogues this week.
It’s 15cm high and probably dates to circa 1815. The body is decorated with two transfer-printed designs. The first and most substantial of these is a caricature entitled The Up Shut or Bonny-Fire. It depicts Napoleon, bound and gagged, hanging from a gallows above a pile of combustible materials to which John Bull is about to set light. The following text has been crudely etched into a speech bubble above John’s head:
Fore George! You’ve quieten’d him, He’s made a stir in’t world long enough, now’s my turn. I’ll stir him when my fire lights.
Whilst most satirical designs which appear on creamware during this period were copied from printed caricatures, I’ve been unable to identify a source print for this image. Therefore, I can only assume it’s either an original image created by the potter, or that it has been copied from a print which has subsequently been lost to history.
In contrast to the scene of gleeful immolation displayed on this side of the pot, the obverse is decorated with a nice bunch of flowers.