Doulton "Black Jack"
Walt Vogdes, Pacific Stein Sammler
I authored a Featured Stein article titled "The English 'Black Jack.'"
That article deals with leather drinking vessels. While preparing that
article I happened across some information about a ceramic "puzzle
pitcher" made to look like a leather vessel, by the Doulton pottery of
Lambeth, a district in South London. The simulated leather appearance,
the link to the earlier article, and the enigmatic verse it contains
make it worthy of note. The trick to the jug is to read the words of
the verse from bottom to top, beginning to the left of the handle and
continuinig round from left to right. I found the information on the
where it is (was) offered for sale with the following description:
Lambeth Jug bears a Slaters Patent and a registration mark. A former
owner dated it to 1889. It is in the shape of an old pigskin football
and shows prominent "stitches" in the clay and a raised "skin" in dark
brown. The original tan body of the clay was used to write across the
jug, The Landlords Caution.
The maltster has
sent his clerk,
And you must pay the score,
for if I trust my beer,
what shall I do for more.
The handle is
thick and "stitched" to the body of the jug. ... It stands 9" tall and
about 5 1/2" across its bulbous middle. This does not include the
handle. It weighs a hefty three pounds.
Martin Kiely wrote
an interesting article for the September 2020 issue of Prosit titled "Black Jacks, Leather
Bombards, and Leather Tankards" in which he included mention of this