National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Toby Mug Set (2 pieces) Toby Mug Set (2 pieces)
Rendered by John Cutting (artist), c. 1936
watercolor and gouache on paper
overall: 35 x 22.5 cm (13 3/4 x 8 7/8 in.)
Index of American Design
Not on View
From the Tour: Pottery from the Index of American Design
Object 12 of 17

At the end of the eighteenth century, English pottery factories, in hopes of regaining their rich prewar markets in America, flooded the country with cheaply made earthenware. While these imports were popular, having great decorative appeal, by the beginning of the nineteenth century American sentiment discouraged industrial dependence on England; American potteries were encouraged to compete for the growing domestic markets. Mass production techniques, modeled upon processes used in England, were brought to this country by immigrant potters. Often these immigrants brought with them as well the molds and patterns they had used at home. Thus, popular English ceramic styles and forms could be duplicated in the United States, satisfying the American taste for imported styles with domestically made products. The pottery centers that developed in Vermont, New Jersey, and Ohio produced a wide variety of utilitarian and decorative, or "fancy," wares based upon English pottery types. Close to its English prototype is this "Toby jug," which features a popular English character, Toby Fillpot, the subject of an eighteenth-century English barroom ballad. The jug, made in New Jersey, may have been modeled by Daniel Greatbach, an English potter who came to America in the 1830s to design molded ware for potteries in New Jersey and in Vermont.

Full Screen Image
Artist Information

«back to gallery»continue tour