Antiques Column with Michael Dowse : Pottery range evolved over course of century

Majolica 'corn on the cob' moulded jugs
Majolica 'corn on the cob' moulded jugs

A few years before Victoria came to the throne moulded jugs had developed into an art form.

Almost every potter of the time began producing them and, on the whole, all followed each other as the moulded jug developed and changed throughout the course of the century.

The jugs of the 1830s were moulded in a crisp and deep relief.

Apart from a few angular exceptions the body was generally round.

In terms of decoration, this was a period in history when designs and inspirations seemed limitless.

Hunting scenes were popular, as were religious, mythological, historical and even drinking themes.

But inspiration was also found in books, poems and art - in fact, almost every aspect of Victorian life.

By the latter part of the 1840s the earlier distinctive pedestal foot had become a foot rim and the lip was a little less flared.

The body was still essentially round and the relief had become more shallow.

The new trend in design was naturalistic plant life, with some jugs being completely covered, examples being the Cob of Corn jug and the Pine Cone jug.

By the 1860s the relief was very shallow and the naturalistic designs were replaced with stylised flowers and foliage.

By the time the Art Nouveau style had arrived towards the end of the century, the moulded jug had largely had its day.

Made usually in earthenware, stoneware or Parian, the moulded jug makes a lovely addition to any enthusiast’s collection.

This is why they have always remained popular in the auction room.