Masonic Collectables – Ceramic Jugs – by Mike Lawrence

Masonic ceramics, although generally only seen in Museums, are more common than one would imagine, but the majority are generally confined to private collections particularly as the interest for all things Masonic has grown rapidly over the last fifty years.

With images of temples and pillars, devices such as the square and compass, all-seeing eye, radiant delta, etc., and rhymes, generally from the ‘Enter’d Apprentice’ song with many variations, their origins and purpose are unmistakable, and the only mystery is to establish if they were produced for private or lodge use.

Masonic designs were developed on pottery almost as soon as the transfer process of applying decoration to ceramics was perfected. This improvement in technique was accomplished at Worcester pottery, England, about 1756, almost forty years after the founding of the first Grand Lodge in London

Below are a few examples of Masonic decorated jugs, kindly supplied a collector.

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Liverpool Jug early 1800’s and has the verse;

“The World is in Pain, Our Secrets to gain, But still let them wonder & gaze on

For they ne’er can divine, The WORD nor the SIGN, Of a Free & an Accepted Mason”

Also front facing has the words;

“A MASON FORM’D OUT OF THE METEIRALS OF HIS LODGE.”

The spelling of METEIRALS is as per the jug.

Height 28cm (11”) Width spout to handle 27cm (10 ½”)

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Sunderland Lustre Jug, mid 1800’s and has the verse:

“The World Illusive

The world is all a fleeting show, For man’s illusion given; The smile of joy, the tears of  woe, Deceitful shine, deceitful flow, – There’s nothing true but Heaven.”

Poem by Thomas Moore 1779 – 1852

Depicting KS Temple on two sides with the verse on front with the initials G.J.M. – possibly to whom it was presented.

Height 180cm (7”) Width 250cm (10”)

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This unusual jug has a lid and thought to be early to mid-1800’s, no factory mark, but possibly Liverpool, and has the verse:

“The World is in Pain, Our Secrets to gain, But still let them wonder & gaze on For they ne’er can divine The WORD nor the SIGN Of a Free & an Accepted Mason”

Height 25cm (10”) Width spout to handle 23cm (9”)

~~~~~

Creamware Jug, not sure of the age with unknown image on one side and what appears to be the Holy Royal Arch Triangle with irradiating sun and the images of the four cardinal virtues. On the front has the wording;

“The World is in Pain Our Secrets to gain But still let them wonder & gaze on For they ne’er can divine The WORD nor the SIGN Of a Free & an Accepted Mason”

Height 18cm (7”) Width spout to handle 23cm (9”)

~~~~~

Possibly Liverpool and possibly late 18th century owing to verse on the side using ‘f’ for ‘s’. The verse reads:

“The LIGHT Shineth in darknefs, and the Darknefs Comprehendeth in not”

The central symbology are the signs of the Zodiac, occasionally associated with Freemasonry, there are also more esoteric images to be seen.

Height 18cm (7”) Width spout to handle 17cm (6 ¾ “)

 

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