Q: I recently got this antique pitcher with raised female figures around the sides. On the bottom it says “International” above a diamond-shaped mark with numbers and letters. There is another mark with the letters “W” and “B”, the number “36,” and a pretzel. Can you tell me when this pitcher was made and its approximate value?
A: Your pitcher is known as a “relief-molded” jug. It was made by William Brownfield, one of the Staffordshire Potteries. Brownfield had a pottery in Cobridge, Stoke-On-Trent, England, from 1850 to 1891. The name of the pottery became William Brownfield & Son in 1871 and William Brownfield & Sons after 1876. The pretzel-shaped mark is called the Staffordshire knot. William Brownfield used this mark from about 1850 to 1871. The diamond-shaped mark is a pseudo-English registry mark. In an actual registry mark, the letters and numbers indicate the date the design was registered. The letters in this mark stand for January 25, 1862. “International” is the name of the pattern. The company received an award for “printed earthenware” at the International Exhibition of 1862, and this jug commemorates that event. The figures represent Art, Music, Science and Commerce. It was made in other colors, including blue and white, green and white, and all blue. This jug was made until at least 1876. A similar jug, but in solid blue with a hinged pewter lid, is in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Although the jug is well known because of the exhibition, it probably will sell for less than $200.