Misleading Pieces

Popular styles, shapes, and prints, in the days before copyrighting became as tight as it is now, inevitably gave rise to copies by other factories. Ridgway themselves were not above copying patterns produced by other factories, especially in the early days. All this copying, also inevitably, gives rise to confusion amongst modern collectors.


Pan jugs 1

The Pan mask jugs originally produced by William Ridgway & Co. at the Church Works were extremely popular and the factory continued to produce them throughout its existence. One of the most commonly met with copies is shown below alongside a genuine pale blue jug for comparison. The copies are found in stone coloured earthenware with smear glaze and in standard earthenware with various colours of glaze including cream (shown here) and white. There may be other bodies though I have not seen them. These copies are often found in shops and sale rooms labelled as genuine Ridgway jugs, so it pays to be able to recognise the differences. The neck is generally narrower than the equivalent size genuine jug, and the lip above tends to be disproportionately larger. The Pan figure on the handle is always bearded on the copy whereas on the genuine he is clean shaven. The crook held in his left hand is held alongside the right arm and curls upwards on the genuine; on the copy it is held below the arm and curls downward. The foliage below the waist of the figure on the copy is much more accentuated and stands out from his body; on the genuine piece it stands out much less and is little larger than the figure's waist. There are only four double whorl panels round the body of the copy, whereas there are five on the genuine jugs. This is not the only known type of copy, but one of the most commonly found.

Genuine blue and copy cream Pan jugs 1

Genuine blue and copy cream Pan jugs 2

Genuine blue and copy cream Pan jugs 3

Photos © Angela Grant 2019


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Pan jugs 2

A further unmistakable copy is one known as the Doccia version. I understand it was originally referred to as such by Kathy Hughes, but a more recent expert, Bonnie Jean Seiwell, has cast doubt on that attribution and considers the mark is wrong for Doccia Ginori, and that it is more likely to be by one of the German copyists, most likely Ernst Bohne Söhne of Rudolstadt c.1880-1920. I say the copy is unmistakable because it is in hard paste porcelain and covered with polychrome enamels. Although it is fantastical in its colouring and body, the moulding is much closer to the original than many of the less exuberant copies.

Polychrome Pan jug left side

Polychrome Pan jug lip side

Polychrome Pan jug handle detail

Polychrome Pan jug base

Polychrome Pan jug left side

Photos © K D Duquet 2021


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