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"Electioneering" Jug

1789-1790
Origin: England, Worcestershire, Kidderminster
OH: 18 3/4"
Earthenware, lead-glazed, cream colored (creamware)
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1992-160
Large cream colored earthenware jug with overglaze enamel decoration in brown, black, green, pink, purple, yellow, and blue. The decoration divided into three sections and bands of enamel around the top and bottom. Opposite the handle is a portrait of King George III surrounded by a shelled-edged cartouche and laurel branches with the words "LONG LIVE THE" beneath. To the left of that on one side is a laurel wreath presented as hanging from a bow and swags of berried laurel branches. Inside the wreath are the words "ALL/FAST; FRIENDS". The same design appears on the opposite side of the jug with the words "LIBERTY; HALL/ALL; FRIENDS; TO FREEDOM" in the wreath. Around the bottom of the jug are the words "WIGLEY AND THE INDEPENDENT CITIZENS OF WORCESTER" and running along the top of the handle "REIN DEER WORCESTER".
Label:Edmund Wigley represented Worcester in the English Parliament from 1789 until 1802. This enormous jug, emblazoned with a portrait of King George and campaign slogans, was likely presented by Wigley to the Rein Deer Tavern as a symbol that this public house was loyal to Wigley's cause during the 1789 or possibly the 1790 election. It was one of a pair, the other bearing the portrait of Queen Charlotte. Although it has the capacity for eight gallons, the jug would have been purely decorative.

The jug itself is thought to have been made at the Kidderminster Pottery (1778-1798) in Worcestershire and perhaps decorated at Chamberlains china decorating factory located in Worcester. The quality of the painted decoration on this piece is of high quality and it is known that Edmund Wigley also purchased porcelain from the Chamberlains factory in 1789 (at this point Chamberlains did not produce their own porcelain, but purchased blanks from local factories and decorated them).

It is unclear how many jugs were manufactured, but at least one pair stayed in the possession of the Wigley family at Shakenhurst. Edmund Wigley married Anna Maria Watkins-Meysey of Shakenhurst on September 24, 1795. Anna Maria was heir to her father's estate and thus Shakenhurst passed into the Wigley family.