19th c Arts and Crafts Cambridge Ale Jug Wedgwood for Woollard & Co Downing College Arms


Brand Etsy

This is a 19th century Cambridge Ale Jug made by Wedgwood for Woollard & Co of Trinity Street, Cambridge. Woollard was founded as a grocer in 1761 and in 1850, William Hanchett Hattersley, whose mother was a Woollard, was head of the business and moved it upscale, offering fine china, glass and wine. While digging in the foundations of the business, a jug dating to the 14th century was found and served as the model for the Cambridge Ale Jug, which Woollard began marketing in 1850. Each Cambridge Ale Jug was decorated with the arms of a Cambridge college and made by Wedgwood in a red terracotta clay. This example bears the arms of Downing College, itself an interesting institution, funded by Sir George Downings estate, Downing being a Baronet and the builder of 10 Downing St. This jug is stamped on its underside with Cambridge Ale Jug Sold By Woollard & Co and impressed stamped with Wedgwood in serif lettering and with a letter C. The lack of England dates this jug to pre-1891 and the letter C was used as a year letter by Wedgwood to denote 1874, and although I cant be certain about the 1874 dating, this jug certainly pre-dates 1891. The jug is in very good condition, but someone decided, at some point, to use it as an art project. The decoration is painted on with coarse strokes and obviously oil based paint. I think that it looks like the painting was done during the British arts and crafts period of William Morris. Although not original to the making of the jug, I think that it is contemporary to the jug and is part of its history and I really like it even if it is a little sloppy in the area of the Downing College arms. Otherwise, no chips, cracks or other defect. These ale jugs originally came in nine different sizes, but this one measures 6 3/4 in height with a diameter of about 5 1/2. Most examples that Ive seen are smaller than this one.
Nice 19th century Wedgwood Cambridge Ale Jug - wonderful display and conversation piece!