Circa 1755
16.6 cm high

Painted with a lady and gentleman in a romantic landscape, the reverse with the arms of Axtell, inscribed ‘ALE’ to the right of the handle.

A detail of a plate from ‘The Ladies Amusement’

This jug is one of a small number of Vauxhall pieces, and perhaps the best, decorated in a painterly manner with fashionable figures in romanticised landscapes in a style more often associated with delftware. Vauxhall was also a notable centre of delft production. The figure group is taken from plate 32 of the 1759 edition of ‘The Ladies Amusement’.  The Ladies Amusement was assembled from a miscellaneous selection of plates and individual sheets would have been in circulation before that.

The decoration is very similar to that on a mug in the Schreiber Collection in the Victoria and Albert Museum illustrated by Roger Massey (Massey 1988, p. 302) and is probably by the same hand. A rather more naïve version of this European style is seen on a group of teawares illustrated by Massey, Marno and Spero, ‘Ceramics of Vauxhall’ (2007, p.74, nos. 114 – 116).

A London delftware jug dated 1762 Victoria and Albert Museum, (Circ.17-1925)

Shallow chip, approx. 1.1 cm wide, to tip of spout, glaze crack only visible in the interior of the spout

Bonhams, 1 December 2010, lot 122
Sylvia and Alan Low Collection

Recorded (but not illustrated) by Bernard Watney as one of four known armorial wares in his list of ‘Documentary Pieces of Vauxhall Porcelain’ in Bernard Watney, The Vauxhall China Works, 1751-1764, ECC Transactions, Vol. 13, Pt. 3 (1989), p.220


Massey 1988
Roger Massey, ‘A Curious Odyssey: a Vauxhall Workman and some Dated Pieces’, ECC Transactions, Vol. 16, Pt. 3 (1998)

Massey et. al. 2007
Roger Massey, Felicity Marno and Simon Spero, ‘Ceramics of Vauxhall’, (The English Ceramic Circle, 2007)

Pillement & Sayer 1759
Jean Nicolas Pillement and Robert Sayer, The Ladies Amusement or Whole Art of Japanning Made Easy, (Facsimile Edition 1959)

Price: £19,500