Bear Jug - (Pottery Ceramics Glass) Glossary of Antique Terms B

Bear Jug - (Pottery, Ceramics, Glass) Brown bear jugs were hand made by the stoneware potters in Nottingham in the mid 18th century. These potteries operated in the town from the late 17th century to the end of the 18th century, when Nottingham was famous throughout the country for its lustrous brown pots. The bears head is removable and can be used fro a cup, and the bear is holding a dog. The bear jug was made at a time when society was comfortable with the blood sport of bear baiting as an entertainment. Bear baiting was popular in England from the Elizabethan period until it was banned in the 19th century. Bears must have been a familiar sight in Nottingham in the 18th century. Perhaps the first stoneware bear jug to be made, this was a commission from someone who went to watch bear baiting and wanted a souvenir and the idea caught on or perhaps the potters saw a sales opportunity.


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