The origin of the Toby Jug is unknown. There are various ideas surrounding their development. They are possible derived from a character in the song The Brown Jug. The character, Toby Fillpot, was a scoundrel, often seen with a jug of ale in his hands.
The Toby Jugs rose in popularity through the eighteenth century and into the nineteenth century. The Jugs depict rotund males with a large nose and always wearing a hat and coat. Female Toby’s were also popular. Toby Jugs take character forms such as the “Thin Man”, the “Hearty Fellow” and so on.
This jug is one of a male and female pair. They are “Snuff Takers” a type of Toby with a bowed head. They were made by the Royal Art Pottery Company, based in Longton, Stoke-en-Trent. The company were based in Longton from 1897 to 1915.