Friday, January 10, 2014

Object of the Day, Museum Edition: An Ironstone Staffordshire "Punch & Judy" Mug, 1975

The Victoria & Albert Museum 

A transfer print of Mr. Punch's vocal puppet bride, the ever-lovely Judy graces this ironstone pottery mug which was manufactured in Staffordshire as one of a set of six mugs featuring the Punch and Judy characters of Mr. Punch, Judy, Dog Toby, the Crocodile ("who is going to eat you"), Joey the Clown and the Constable. 

Staffordshire Potteries specialized in producing utilitarian home-goods in the 1970s--among them: plates, bowls and mugs of ironstone pottery.   This sort of pottery was a durable, porcelain-like ceramic developed in the Staffordshire potteries area during the early 19th century, making it particularly suitable for mass production. 

According to our chums at the Victoria & Albert Museum, "The term 'ironstone' was patented by Charles James Mason, who issued wares with the backstamp 'Mason's Ironstone China'."

Made in 1975, this ironstone pottery mug is printed with a pink and orange image of Judy holding her baby and a bright bunch of flowers.  The baby is punctuated with a speech bubble inscribed: "

The base of the mug is imprinted with a mark in black ink: 

Staffordshire Potteries Ltd. Ironstone. Made in England

And the impressed mark:


The Victoria & Albert Museum

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