By BRIAN KRAPF
This jug depicting a seated Winston Churchill is a classic item that has found its way into many homes. If one owns a piece of porcelain Churchilliana, chances are it’s this well executed, hand painted piece.
The jug was first designed in 1940 by Royal Doulton’s master artisan Harry Fenton and then sold commercially to commemorate Churchill becoming Prime Minister. After this run, Royal Doulton resumed production of the jug postwar. Of all Churchill collectables, these famous jugs had by far the longest production run. Manufacture did not finally end until 1991.
The original 1940 run was of limited production and only made in the large 23 cm size. It is immediately distinguished (as shown above) from subsequent postwar production runs by the identification of Churchill as “Prime Minister of Great Britain” and the “1940” date. All subsequent productions are solely marked “Winston Churchill.”
The first run proved so successful and popular that, after the war, Royal Doulton began producing the jugs in three graduated sizes: 23 cm, 13.5 cm, and 10 cm. Any of the jugs, therefore, smaller than the 23 cm size can be immediately identified as postwar.
Subsequent runs are prevalent in the marketplace. Despite the fact that the jugs continued to be hand painted and utilized the original design, they can be purchased at a very reasonable price, since they became one of Royal Doulton’s best selling items, and many were produced over a long period of time.
Collectors seek the first run jugs, those marked “Prime Minister.” Since these were made in limited quantity, their rarity vastly increases the price. If you own one of these classic jugs or are interested in purchasing one, be certain to turn it over and check the bottom marking. The difference directly affects the value and can be a point of negotiation in your favour.