Category Archives: Q&A

What is in a Toby Jug?

“What is a Toby Jug”? That is the question I have today.

Toby Jug
So, just what is a “Toby Jug” anyway?

By definition a Toby Jug is a full-length figure, more often than not male (although there are a few females too), dressed from head to toe in clothing associated with the 18th century. This includes a long frock coat, tricorn hat, knee-length britches, waistcoat and neckercheif.

Usually these characters are clutching a jug or drinking vessel, or sometimes a pipe or snuff box.

Toby Jugs have been produced for years and there is some dispute among collectors as to their exact origins but it is believed that the first ones were made in the mid 1700’s.

It is said, “With my pipe in one hand, and a jug in the other, I drink to my Neighbor and Friend; My cares in a whif of tobacco I’ll smother, For life you know shortly must end.”

So note that these pictured today are Character Jugs. A Character Jug is only the head, or head and shoulders, of a figure much like a cup or mug shape and often with an elaborate handle. They are more modern than a true Toby Jug and have a large following among collectors today.

Character Jugs are made by Royal Dalton and are great examples of famous characters in history.

So, tell us…do you have any Toby Jugs of your own, and if so, how do you display them?  Feel free to tell us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.  We would love to hear from you and see your lovely photos!