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CLARET JUGS

Some Claret Jugs can essentially be a decanter with a handle and pouring lip, others can distinctly be claret jugs where there is no decanter equivalent.

For the sake of this web site if it is like a decanter in anyway, has a stopper or lid, and has a handle it's a claret jug. In this way I can avoid having to consider flasks and the occasional jugs, etc... falling into a hole of classifications.

You will see jug handles being described as applied top to bottom and bottom to top. In the UK in Georgian times it was the fashion to make jug handles by taking a strip of hot glass and attaching near what will be the back lip of the jug and bending the strip around and attaching the flat side of the strip to a lower part of the jug, occasionally with a flourish of a little tail of some sort. In Victorian times this changed and jug handles tended to be made with a blob of hot glass attached low on the back of the jug and then stretched out to form the handle. This was then curled around and attached at the top of the jug to form the handle.

Claret Jugs

This is a shaft and globe shaped Victorian claret jug with a flat foot with radiating cutting, a plain body, slice cut neck and tricorn pouring lip. The handle is plain and applied bottom to top. The stopper is plain blown ovoid. Made c.1890

This is a simple quality made claret jug, in that classic Victorian shape, shaft and globe. The plainness of this claret jug declares it to be part of the movement that proposed that excessive cutting was vulgar, inartistic and detracts from the nature of glass. It's amazing how people can get so wrapped up in artistic movements.

Height: 12 inches

Width: 4 inches

This is a flask shaped Victorian claret jug with a slightly flattened body, short shallow vertical v-grooves cut to the lower body and strawberry hobnails cut in a thick band around the upper body and a slice cut neck. The handle is applied bottom to top and the stopper is a solid faceted ball. Made late 19th century.

This is not an elegant claret jug, however with the level and quality of cutting would have been an expensive item. At the time this was made heavily cut glass was going out of fashion and this may have been considered a bit old fashioned.

Reference: The Decanter, Andy McConnell, page 349 & 350 & 423

Height: 10 inches

Width: 7 inches

This is a French tea pot shaped decanter made by St. Louis. The decanter is green over plain cased glass with vertical panels cut through the green into the clear. It has a short pouring spout pointing out at roughly 45% with an applied handle that loops over the top.

This is the best quality French decanter I own; I would even go as far to say the quality was as good as English. I have put this in the claret jugs section as it is so weird, but does have a handle, which in my book makes it a jug. The stopper fits nice and tightly, and using this would be quite cool as you could pour out your guests drinks like cups of tea.

Height: 6.5 inches

Width: 7 inches

This is a Prussian shaped Edwardian claret jug by Edinburgh and Leith made in the style of Regency glass. It has step cutting around the base with hobnails around the middle and shoulders and three facet cut neck rings. The stopper is a mushroom with a star cut flat top and hobnails cut around the periphery. The handle is applied top to bottom in the Georgian manner and has a notch at the top to assist grip. Made c.1900

From approximately 1900-40 there was a fashion for make copies of Georgian/Regency drinking ware, including decanters and claret jugs like this one. They are not fakes as the glass quality and manufacture is of a higher standard and does not try to exactly reproduce the quality of the original. If they are too nicely made to be believed they are probably a copy. Note the handle has been applied from top to bottom as they would have been done in Georgian times.

Reference: The Decanter, page 493 Reproductions and Fakes.

Height: 10.5 inches

Width: 5 inches

This is an elongated pyramid shaped Murano claret jug probably made by Salviati probably pre-war. It has a scrolling handle with rigaree applications to it. It is clear glass to which gold leaf have been applied, encased, then blown to give a random speckled gold effect. The stopper is hollow blown, the peg not ground to fit, and mirroring the shape of the body of the decanter with a prunt applied to the top.

This claret jug has been made in the style of Venetian renaissance glass. It is very frilly and pretty but totally impractical as a claret jug. The glass is paper thin and I doubt the gold leaf embedded in it does anything for its structural strength either. Just for looks.

Height: 11 inches

Width: 5 inches

This is a flask shaped brown Victorian claret jug with an applied handle. The handle is plain and applied bottom to top. It has a silver plate collar and pourer and the stopper is cork and Sheffield plate with a simple ring to pull it out. Made c.1860

This is a simple flask jug made in the style of wine bottles that were imported from Germany. Apparently there was a fashion for keeping and converting such bottles into claret jugs (German wine bottles must have been considered exotic). This example was clearly never just a wine bottle as it is too finely made and fragile.

Reference: The Decanter, Andy McConnell, page 347

Height: 9 inches

Width: 5 inches

This is a flask shaped Victorian claret jug with horizontal ellipses closely cut over the whole body apart from a demarked area near the applied handle. The handle is plain and applied bottom to top. It has a silver plate rim collar with a hinged lid, marked H&H for Hulkin and Heath. Made c.1880-90

This is a super quality claret jug made by the famous makers Hukin and Heath. I have never seen another jug like this and the planished look of the cutting reminds me of silver work designed by Dr. Christopher Dresser. I don't know if this is one of his designed, but I would expect he wasn't standing far away when it was.

The little horizontal ellipses are known as olives to glass cutters. I haven't used that in the description as I suspect even most glass nerds have heard of it.

Reference: The Decanter, Andy McConnell, page 456

Height: 9 inches

Width: 5 inches

This is a Victorian claret jug with a quilted moulded body. It has a silver plate collar with incorporated handle, pouring lip and a hinged flip-top lid. It is mark H&H for Hukin and Heath. Made c.1880-90

This is a quality claret jug made by the famous makers Hukin and Heath. Plenty of jugs in this style exist with all kinds of finishes, for totally plain to cut all over. The design of these claret jugs are usually attributed to Dr. Christopher Dresser.

The really neat thing about this that shows the quality is that where the bottom of the handle touches the glass body, the metal of the handle has been shaved to match the undulations on the glass and let it sit flush on the uneven surface.

Christopher Dresser is often regarded as the 'father of industrial design'. He designed utilitarian objects for the general public while making full use of the latest techniques of mass production. Dresser's most innovative designs were for objects to be made in metal. His designs for ceramics and glass often resemble plant forms in their shape, ornamentation or colouring, but his designs for metalwork objects tend to be fully abstract. He frequently employed symmetrical, rectilinear shapes and undecorated surfaces. This was partly due to the intrinsic value of silver and gold, which he specified should be used economically in order to make the object affordable. This is in keeping with his ethical attitude towards economy in design.

Reference: Dresser People's Designer, Harry Lyons, M-038

Height: 8 inches

Width: 4.5 inches

This is a Victorian claret jug with a long wide neck, diamond shaped body. It has a silver plate fittings incorporating a bar handle, pouring lip and a hinged flip-top lid. It is mark H&H for Hulkin and Heath. Made c.1882-3

This is a quality claret jug made by Hukin and Heath. Christopher Dresser made a number of variations of this type of jug. This particular one is well referenced. It is more normal for the bar handle to be a dowel of ebonised wood, but in this case, it is a silver plate bar.

What is nice about this is that the design date of 1882-3 is so out of step with other work being produced at the time and this is what makes Dresser so great. He steps out of his time period innovates and it still looks good all this time later.

Reference: Dresser, Harry Lyons, M-036

Reference: Christopher Dresser, Michael Whiteway, page 99

Reference: Christie's Catalogue 19th Oct 2004, The Harry Lyons Collection, Lot.353

Reference: The Decanter, Andy McConnell, page 419

Height: 8.5 inches

Width: 5.5 inches

This is a donut shaped footed claret jug with a wrythen body and neck, applied rigaree to the circumfrance and prunt in the middle. The stopper is a flattened wrythen teardrop shape with a applied rigaree to the circumfrance and prunt in the middle. Made c.1880-1910.

I suspect this was made be John Walsh Walsh, and if it was I would put is nearer the later end of the date window I have given, as they were a follower on this type of thing.

Theoretically this is a claret jug, but it's massively impractical, so I think it is just for looks. Side on it looks quite big, but it is so narrow, you could probably only get half a bottle in it. And how would you clean around that bend too?

Height: 12.75 inches

Width: 6 inches

This is a cylinder shaped Victorian claret jug beautifully and profusely cut in the rock crystal manner with floral motifs, swags and diamonds. The stopper is cut similarly. Made c.1880-1900

This is a super quality claret jug made by someone good, like Stevens and Williams or Thomas Webb. Judging by the shape this is more of a whiskey flask than a claret jug, but it has a handle and stopper and that makes it a claret jug in my book.

Height: 10.5 inches

Width: 4.5 inches

This is an inverted thistle shaped rib molded claret jug with script Whiskey cut into the upper half of the body. There is a rib molded blown ball stopper. Made by Stevens and Williams circa 1900.

The word Whiskey is not very clear in this photograph and it is difficult to read in real life too. There are versions of this jug on coloured cased glass where the word is cut through coloured glass into clear glass and this is much more successful.

Although this is a lovely jug, I don't think it was a successful design, in that the quite chunky stopper fits tightly into the thin rim of the pouring lip. As this is meant to be for Whiskey that doesn't seem a very robust solution and I expect these were destroyed the people using them by the dozen.

I have seen this design in an old Stevens and Williams advertisement, so I am certain of this attribution. In the advertisment the rib molding is called Venetian flute.

Height: 11 inches

Width: 4.5 inches

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