Ridgeway turned out thousands of these jugs in the 50s – with different flora, fauna and hunting scenes they were sent to every corner of the Commonwealth. There the transfer prints were hand-coloured in a local pottery, re-fired and put on sale.
This floral jug purports to be a Waratah [it’s signed as such on the imprint mark]: but as a landscape architect and amateur botanist- I take issue with the likeness. Yes, I know- botanical accuracy on a mass-produced jug is asking a bit much, but the leaves are all wrong and the flower head is so stylised as to resemble a rose; much less a Waratah.
Having complained said that- I also have a soft-spot for kitschy, 50s abstractness- this jug is from a centuries old Staffordshire pottery; and our own artists in Australia were only just starting to embrace the unique flora in their art in the 50s.
Ridgway closed the pottery factory 1952 so this Waratah jug was one of the last things made. Having started in 1792, Ridgway was a “manufacturer of printed ware of all descriptions…” so clearly printed earthenware pottery was produced for a good one hundred and sixty years.
The ‘Waratah’ jug is in excellent condition, and is for sale: $AUD65