An homage to the Roman god Bacchus, this superb antique wine jug was made by the English pottery firm Royal Doulton. The impressed mark on the bottom was introduced in 1902 to mark the year that Doulton received the grant of the Royal Warrant by King Edward VII; the mark was used until 1922. There is also an impressed number 3037 and the letter d, which further dates the jug to 1908.
The upper portion of the jug is glazed in a rich dark brown edged with cream, with relief carved grape vines applied on either side of the wonderful mask of Bacchus beneath the pulled spout. The dark brown trims the upper rim and the upper half of the arched, grooved handle, while the interior is a matte tan.
The nude, cavorting men, surrounded by grapes and grape leaves, are carved in deep relief of cream colored clay and applied around the center of the tan colored body. The applied dark brown letters spell out the motto: "Good is not good enough. The best is not too good." The tan color continues onto the flared foot and the bottom half of the wide handle.
The jug stands 7 1/4 inches tall, measures 8 inches across from the spout to the outer edge of the handle and weighs 2 pounds, 3 ounces. There are two short splits in the applied carvings, done in the kiln, and the tiny tips of a couple of the brown leaves are missing (but hard to spot). There is a small area of glaze missing on the brown part of the handle and on the bottom there is a stone that was left in the clay. We mention these for accuracy, as none of this detracts from the beauty of the jug and in all respects, it is a handsome display piece.
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