The Nelson Jug
Designed by Alfred Crowquill
Manufactured by Samuel Alcock & Co
Museum no. CIRC.645-1962
Nelson jug, made by Alcock of Burslem from parian porcelain and exhibited in the Great Exhibition. Part of the decoration reproduces a relief on Nelson's Column. Alcock of Burslem chose to depict a national hero on the jug displayed on their stand. Alcock was a small company in competition not only with British firms such as Wedgwood and Minton, but also with foreign potteries. So, who better to uphold the traditions of Britain and the Staffordshire potteries, and capture the attention of passing visitors, than a national hero such as Nelson? Scenes from Nelson's life are sculpted in low relief on the side panels and the surrounding symbolism is also nautical: dolphins on the base, and the handle in the form of Neptune. That the Society of Arts would have considered such storytelling to be inappropriate ornament for a vase would probably not have occurred to nor concerned the maker.