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A Rare Wedgwood ‘Egyptian’ jug, 1854

Wedgwood 'Egyptian' Jug, registered 1854, at Moorabool Antiques, Geelong

This rare piece of Wedgwood came to Moorabool recently, and is quite a remarkable piece.

  • Wedgwood 'Egyptian' Jug, registered 1854, at Moorabool Antiques, Geelong
  • Wedgwood 'Egyptian' Jug, registered 1854
  • Wedgwood 'Egyptian' Jug, registered 1854, at Moorabool Antiques, Geelong
  • Wedgwood 'Egyptian' Jug, registered 1854, at Moorabool Antiques, Geelong
  • Wedgwood 'Egyptian' Jug, registered 1854, at Moorabool Antiques, Geelong

Rare Wedgwood ‘Egyptian Jug’, modelled in black basalt after an Ancient Greek oinochoe, with a faithful painted ‘black-figure’ style panel featuring a bird in flight flanked by two facing sphinx, defined by terracotta slip painted ground colour, with bands below to the foot & to the trefoil lip, the figures with white enamel highlights.

Large impressed registration triangle, with circular inscription “THE EGYPTIAN JUG / SOLD ONLY BY º / WOOLLARD & HATTERSLEY / CAMBRIDGE”. , also ‘WEDGWOOD” and modeller’s marks.

Wedgwood Egyptian Jug
Wedgwood Egyptian Jug

This rarity was made for Woollard & Hattersley, who had the design registered in April 1854 as ‘The Egyptian Jug’ (ref. British Museum’s description), and made at Wedgwood. Established in 1761, Woollard & Hattersley were grocers, who also listed themselves as ‘ University Providers’. Their adverts list the various beverages they stocked, no doubt in great demand in the many Cambridge University halls. This jug is sometimes listed as an ‘ale jug’, and would be quite useful as one – perhaps a promotional giveaway of the early Victorian period….

Greek original, Attic, 5th century BC

It is a superb example of the interest in re-imagining the classical world through the ‘revival’ movements – with one glaring mistake: although claiming to belong to the ‘Egyptian’ removal, it is in fact a faithful copy of a Corinthian Greek archaic style oinochoe, dating to the 6th century BC!

There were several versions made. Although apparently not in the literature, there are two examples in auction records that have a clue to the ambiguous ‘Egyptian’ naming: they are impressed-marked “THE CANTERBURY JUG” instead of “THE EGYPTIAN JUG” – but then the decorator of the jug has painted over the top of the impressed mark, with “EGYPTIAN” !

A- example @ Moorabool Antiques, solid black body with red painted background EGYPTIAN JUG
B- solid red ware example, the background painted in black – EGYPTIAN JUG
C- solid black, red printed registration diamond, red painted background CANTERBURY / EGYPTIAN
D- solid black, red printed registration diamond, red painted background CANTERBURY / EGYPTIAN

‘The Canterbury Jug ‘ was perhaps a reference to an example of a Greek oinochoe jug, in the collection of an antiquarian of the region, as yet untraced. The design was registered in 1854, but promptly re-named, as shown by examples with ‘Egyptian’ painted over ‘Canterbury’. The marking stamp was then modified for the following products, creating the inaccurate name ‘Egyptian Jug’. It is a rarity amongst Wedgwood products due to the registration & patron mark.

A curios example sold in America recently (C) bears the registration diamond for 1854, but also a painted inscription for the word ‘Egyptian’. Careful examination reveals a different impressed word beneath – ‘CANTERBURY’ – so originally it was inscribed ‘THE CANTERBURY JUG’. Another example was sold in America with the exact same feature (D), meaning it was not a unique production issue. We can conclude this mark was original, but for some reason, the name of the custom-order by Woollard & Hattersley was changed to ‘EGYPTIAN’. Subsequent productions also differ in the way the registration diamond is shown; one is printed on in red, while the other is impressed.

Wedgwood 'Egyptian' Jug, registered 1854
Based on a Corinthian Greek ‘Black Figure’ jug of the 6th century BC
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Fresh Stock – from Children’s Chairs to Moser Glass

Welcome to the latest Fresh Stock release on . This is a terrifically diverse one, bringing together a series of small collections of interesting things for you to browse.

To start with: some Silver Brooches… wouldn’t they make lovely presents?

There’s some fine Ceramics, including superb quality Derby pieces from the early 19th century, one showing ‘ A View near Melbourn, Derbyshire’ !

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Asian Arts – Chinese & South-East Asian Ceramics

Welcome to our Asian Special.

We’re actually in Asia for this one! Paul & Glenys, your proprietors at Moorabool Antiques, are on a ‘China Expedition’ – visiting the sights & enjoying the unique culture that is China…..

Of course, this is not a ‘buying’ trip: China prohibits the export of anything that could be considered Antique. Rather, it is a fact-finding visit: exploring some of the regions where the Chinese items we are familiar with came from, and spending some time in the numerous Museums & Galleries and their fine collections of Chinese Art & Antiques…..

On our return, we will have a wealth of knowledge to draw on when cataloguing the incredible items from Asia which Australians are well known to have collected over the past few hundred years……

This stock release includes several such local collections of interesting Asian ceramics, including some over 1,000 years old.


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Nod if you like Antiques….. a collection of ‘Nodders’ + other funny things.

Japanesque Nodders
Japanesque Nodders

Today’s Fresh Stock is a bit of a laugh…..

These classic bits of Victorian are the ultimate ….. ‘kitsch’!

A fair number of people will not like them at all…. but they’re still going to make you smile, no matter what!

The originals were actually probably Chinese temple figures, designed to look alive. An early European example can be found in the production of the Meissen factory in the mid 18th century – copying Chinese examples. It’s no surprise then that these late 19th century examples – made in Germany for English, American & Australian markets, amongst others – are also Asian in origin. They fit the definition of ‘Chinoiserie’, being entirely the product of European Imaginations of what they thought Chinese or Japanese characters looked like. A little off the mark with this example – the very pretty man with a magnificent moustache, flowing dress, and sun parasol over his shoulder – and a lovely big pink bow in his hair – he’s more of a German than an Asian!

A Nodders Committee: most agree, but there’s always one that disagrees…….

There’s some serious stock as well, don’t worry: although amongst these you’ll find some more ‘funnies’ – cartoon sketches which were probably printed in publications of the period.
But also some ‘serious’ ceramics, including Baxter Studio decorated Coalport, Rockingham, and 18th century French Faience.


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Fresh stock – it’s almost Valentines Day!

Welcome to our latest Fresh Stock Release. This coming week brings Valentines Day, and we start things with a fantastic early Victorian example of a fancy ‘Valentines Day Card’.

SPRAGG Victorian Valentines Day Card, c.1860
SPRAGG Victorian Valentines Day Card, c.1860

Victorian Valentines Day cards were sent anonymously and often carried no message to the recipient. They had emerged as a trend in the earliest Victorian period, and grew in popularity as the century advanced. Technology led to elaborate mass production utilising die cut embossed ‘paper lacework’, as seen in this example, and chromolithography printing allowing multiple bright colours. The ‘Penny Post’ introduction in the 1840’s was the crucial component in the rise of the printed cards, allowing an admirer anywhere to send a cord to someone. Records for cards sent for Valentines Day 1841 show 400,000 within the English postal service – and this number increased constantly every year. The poor postmen were given an extra allowance ‘for refreshments, to help them keep up their energy’ while doing cupid’s work! 

This remarkable large piece of English Majolica is the ultimate pottery rarity. It’s a Punch punchbowl – the figure balancing it on his belly is the character so familiar to Victorians as the character of the ‘Punch’ satyrical magazine. The bowl itself is like a giant orange, and the moulded holly around the edge reveals the intended usage for the bowl: Yuletide Cheer, sitting in the middle of a lavish Christmas table.

It was created by George Jones, famous for his quirky products. It bears the diamond registration mark for 1873, as well as the ‘GJ’ impressed initials of the proprietor. This is interesting, as 1873 is also the year George Jones included his sons in the business, changing the mark to ‘GJ & Sons’. This bowl must have been made in the initial part of 1873, before the change of the mark was implemented. It’s rare we can date something so precisely…..

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Fresh Finds for February……

Welcome to our first February stock release, full of interesting items.

There’s some furniture, including the superb miniature chest of drawers seen above: it’s an ‘apprentice’ piece, so-called as an apprentice could show their skills by producing a miniature masterpiece. This example is Australian, made from solid cedar, absolutely original and a prime piece of Australiana.

A cedar bed from the 1840’s originates in Tasmania, and has very heavy original ‘gumtree’ side rails and splats.

1905 Thonet Catalogue

There’s a fine quality English linen press, with a mark identifying the maker as C.J. Freeman – Furniture Manufactory – Norwich. The beautiful timber is carefully selected maple.

A couple of bentwood chairs are interesting, appearing in the 1905 Thonet catalogue.

Have a browse through our latest uploads….


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Australia Day Special

No matter what your opinion regarding the 26th January, those who live in Australia have a lot to celebrate.  The Ancient Past was when the first settlers came, over expanses of water, up to 60,000 years ago.  Isolated, they developed their own unique culture which is now rightfully called ‘the oldest continual culture on earth’.  Their ability to sustain themselves in the often harsh Australian landscapes can only be admired …. 

When the next phase of settlers came, the Europeans, they died of thirst and hunger, in places where the Aboriginal ‘First Nation’ peoples were perfectly at home.

The inevitable influx of fortune-seeking Europeans from the initial First Fleet of 1788 spread across the land, and formed another unique culture: Australian.  While initially English, there were large numbers of Scots and Irish settlers, seeking to escape the harsh social realities in their homelands. Soon, people from all corners of the globe were arriving, drawn by the potential for success and safety Australia’s fledgling nation offered. After the World Wars of the 20th century, and other humanitarian crisis which resulted in refugee influxes, Australia welcomed more & more diversity to its shores. 

Surveyors planning a railway in Queensland, circa 1890

The result of this is Australia as we see it today:  Original ancient Aboriginal culture, with British social stability and institutions, enhanced by Greeks, Italians, Germans, Scandinavians, and Asian arrivals, each with their own cultural background to add to the mix.  Australians are no longer exclusively any of these cultures – especially after a generation or two of children have grown up in this ‘new’ culture.  

Rather, Australia is a splendid mix of ‘people of the world’ – hopefully the best aspects of each culture. 

So let’s not get bogged down in invasions, or cultural clashes – Australian culture dictates everyone has a fair chance. Say G’day, and celebrate us for what we are – and dream of what we could be – 

Happy Australian Day !

Fresh Australiana

Coming Soon…. more Australiana.

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Fresh Stock including fine Ceramics, Silver, and Artworks

Welcome to our latest Fresh Stock release.

Chamberlain's Worcester jug, c. 1820
Chamberlain’s Worcester jug, c. 1820

This week, we have a splendid selection of ceramics, including 18th & early 19th century pieces from a local gentleman’s collection – all sourced from Moorabool over the past 60 years….. he recalls buying his first piece off John Rosenberg in 1965!

Many of these pieces may be familiar to regular customers, and feature in some of our printed catalogues for the Exhibitions we held in our Geelong premises in the past: now they’re back in stock, and looking for a new ‘custodian’ to enjoy and care for them.

Meissen sweetmeat basket with birds, c. 1755
Meissen sweetmeat basket with birds, c. 1755

There’s a number of early pieces of European porcelain.

You can’t beat the quality of these extraordinarily rare Meissen chocolate cups. They literally ‘walked in’ to our shop from a local house where they have been sitting for many years, with the family tradition being they came to Australia in the 19th century. We believe they are from a unique dèjeuner set, the tray which held them being in the Museum collection in Munich.
They are Meissen, made in around 1775, and the distinct style of painting belongs to a known artist: Johann Georg Loehnig. Active at Meissen from around 1770, he was regarded as one of their best artists, and given the prestigious commissions. They are extraordinarily rare, and possibly relate to a single service, the main tray which held them being in the Museum at Munich.
Who could such magnificent cups have been for?

Rare Meissen beakers in the Sèvres style, by Johann Georg Loehnig, c.1775
Rare Meissen beakers in the Sèvres style, by Johann Georg Loehnig, c.1775

Fine Antique Ceramics

Fresh to Stock


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First Fresh Stock release for 2024

Welcome to our first Fresh Stock for 2024. We have a fine selection of interesting items for you to browse, including Sterling, Old Sheffield Plate, Australian Pottery, and a whole range of ‘Green’ ceramics…..

The exceptional piece this time is a plate, which bears an original Exhibition label from 1876. With the place it was exhibited, and the name of the artist, we were able to discover a fascinating ‘back-story’ – with close links to Charles Dickens and an Australian High Court judge from 100 years ago…..

Ellen Ross ‘china painting “HOWELL & JAMES” of Regent Street, exhibition label 1876


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Merry Christmas! – the Last Fresh Stock for 2023

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….

… and this is our last ‘Fresh Stock’ for 2023. It’s been quite a year, with an amazing number of items being added to, and many finding new homes in collections all around the world.

Thank-You very much!

Late in 2023, we recieved the amazing collection of a local good customer to sell. He recalls his first purchase from a young John Rosenberg in 1964; since then, he has been a regular customer ‘through the decades’, and having never sold anything, has compiled quite a large collection!

Close-up of the amusing knop on the Rogers ‘Zebra Pattern’ supper dish below: a bemused lion!

Today you will see a selection of his blue & white on offer, and some delightful Creamwares. These were the smaller aspects of his collection; most of it is highly decorative English ceramics from the first half of the 19th century, including Worcester, Derby, Minton, Swansea, Davenport, Spode…. basically an Illustrated Encyclopaedia of British Ceramics!

Fresh to Stock: a Willow Pattern Christmas Tree!

So far we have catalogued 300 pieces: there is on estimation five times that to go, so that is quite probably approaching 2,000 pieces! Naturally to do our comprehensive identification and descriptive cataloguing we are known for takes time per piece…. so it will be a gradual release throughout 2024, in groups of similar items, periods, makers etc. Keep an eye out for our upcoming ‘Curated Collections’.

Moorabool would like to wish all our valued browsers the absolute best for this Christmas, and a Healthy & Happy New Year.
2024 will be the most exciting one in memory for Moorabool!

Paul & Glenys Rosenberg,
Moorabool Antiques, Geelong, Australia

Freshest Stock…

12 Antique Days of Christmas promo

We have a unique 12-days of ANTIQUE Christmas for you to enjoy…. featuring items sourced from our stock!

There’s a number of fun themes, always ending with the ‘Peacock in a Topiary’ .
But what could the 12th day be….? pop back in Christmas Day to see!

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