Antique and Fine China Collectibles - Burleigh Fox Hunting Jug Pitcher

by Ping
(Milton Keynes)

Antique and Fine China Collectibles - Burleigh Fox Hunting Jug Pitcher

Antique and Fine China Collectibles - Burleigh Fox Hunting Jug Pitcher

Antique and Fine China Collectibles - Burleigh Fox Hunting Jug Pitcher:- I have a jug stamped on the back Burgess & leigh ltd. Burleigh ware ESTD 1851. It has fox's tail handle. Please see the picture. I would like to know more information and value. The jug in very good condition.



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antique china values

Antique and Fine China Collectibles - Burleigh Fox Hunting Jug Pitcher

Hi Ping

Many thanks for submitting, and hope you are finding the site generally useful.

We don't get many questions about Burgess & Leigh because their tableware and decorative ware only began in earnest in the 1930's and their marks tend to be very clearly marked with their full name and are not difficult to look up online.

The only exception to this is their B & L Ltd backstamp which they began to use in 1919. Incidentally, this particular mark is very similar in graphic style to predecessor company from the 1860's Hulme & Booth (as shown on

The mark on your splendid 'Tally HO' decorative pitcher (jug) is from the 1940's. Their big move into tableware and decorative items cam in the 20's and 30's. Your jug is from their range described as 'novelty ware', which began in the 1930's and is collectible and definitely has a following today. The most sought after are the 1930's design by Ernest Bailey (see further information below).

The reason I didn't include Burgess & Leigh on my site within the A - Z Online Guide to Fine China manufacturers was because up until quite a way into the 20th Century (relatively recently in terms of the long history of fine china manufacturers), they were known for toilet wares and not tableware or decorative ornamental work. It wasn't until the 1930's that tableware became a significant part of their product range.

I have been thinking for some time this omission of Burgess & Leigh is an oversight on my part (ever since I went to my cousin's house and saw a lovely blue & white teapot and set by Burgess & Leigh). I simply haven't had time to write a new entry for them under 'B'. So your submission has given me a chance to right this wrong, so many thanks.

The important period for the company was the 1930's when, when, seeing tough times in the toilet sector, they had the insight to work with top ceramic designer Charlotte Rhead (whose father Frederick, was a potter of significance and her brother Frederick Rhead jnr was also a top ceramic designer, responsible for the creating for US firm Homer Laughlin their runaway success 'Fiesta Ware') and other important designers.

The exact history of Burgess & Leigh differs depending on which account you read, but my Godden's Encyclopaedia says they were founded as Burgess &
Leigh (Ltd) after the two founding proprietors Frederick Rathbone Burgess and William Leigh, in Burslem in the Hill Pottery c. 1867 and then moved to the Middleport Pottery in 1889. Other accounts say they originated as Hulme and Booth in 1851 and then renamed Burgess & Leigh in 1877

My Godden's book makes no mention of Hulme and Booth at all, but does mention quite a few other Hulme firms (William 1, William 2, John, Henry..... must have been a line of various potters in the same family). does make a very brief mention of Hulme & Booth, showing one pottery mark, and say they operated after 1842 and not after 1862, were previously Hopkin and Vernon and subsequently Thomas Hulme. Maybe this Hulme had something to do with the earliest incarnation of the business messrs Burgess & Leigh formed.

Anyway, whatever version is true, Burgess & Leigh became a successful firm which kept the same family at the helm until 1999 when their was a takeover by Rosemary and William Dorling, and became Burgess, Dorling & Leigh - still producing wares from the Middleport Pottery in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

The backstamp Burleigh (a combination of Bur{gess} and Leigh) I can't find a reference to in Goddens before 1930. This suggest to me it was dreamed up by the marketing team as something to differentiate the new push into tableware and get away from the toilet associations.

At this time, apart form Charlotte Rhead the head of design was Harold Bennett (pattern designer) and the person responsible for developing the new shapes was Ernest Bailey. Designs at this time were in the Art Deco style with bright coloured enamels with new shapes called names like "Zenith" and "Imperial".

They soon also gained a following for their "novelty ware", especially your style of relief-moulded pitchers with sculpted handles often in the shape of animals and human figures.

This is a collectible area and prices are still premium. However, the highest prices are attained for the 1930s sporting jugs of Ernest Bailey. The most sought after are the Cricketer figure and the Golfer.

If more knowledgeable collectors can help further, I would urge them please go ahead and click on the comments link below (check out the comments section below for replies).

For general advice on how to either price up your collection or find replacements for it, I wrote this page: The Searching Secrets To Finding Your China Replacement Online ….more.

For specific advice on how to ‘save a search’ on eBay (for pricing or finding your desired item) go here: How to easily find replacements, prices and information on vintage and antique china online ..... more

Hope this identification and potted history helps.

Best regards

Peter (Admin)

p.s. The following page is also a 'must see' if you are researching fine china - for value and identification:-

Researching the identity and value of antique and vintage fine china.

Please post comments below which you think might be helpful……

Comments for Antique and Fine China Collectibles - Burleigh Fox Hunting Jug Pitcher

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by: ann marie

i also have one of these jugs how much is it worth ?

Value of Burleigh Jug Pitcher
by: Peter (admin)

Hi Ann Marie

Generally we try to help with identification here and leave the valuations to the experts on vintage and antique china values. These Burleigh jugs/pitchers from their novelty collection are a classic example as to why this policy is necessary.

So someone might come along to these discussions and tell you that these novelty Burleigh jugs generally sell for around $35 - $50 USD at auction. They would be right. However, Burleigh pitchers cover a large range of subjects in their collection and I have seen some collectible subjects go for up to $200 USD at auction (for a lady golfer scene).

Auction price is not necessarily a good indication of what a collector might pay because the retail price in a curio shop or antiques dealer might show a sales ticket of at least twice the auction figure (in other words, the retail price needs to be more, as the shopkeeper has larger overheads and there is no hidden buyers premium as there is in auctioneer sales) - so a $300 - $500 price tag for a sought after collectible subject on the Burleigh pitchers in a shop might not be out of the question. A lot different to $35 - $50 for the run of the mill subject.

Another example is the 'feeding time' jug - showing a big soppy dog begging for food. I have seen this one fetch $35 at one auction and fetch $135 at another. So giving a value is a tricky thing and easy to get wrong.

This is why I try to deal with value through my expert service because it is very easy for people to be mislead - either to think their items are worth less than they think, or more.

Hope this helps

Peter (admin)

by: Anonymous

I live in New Zealand but this has not stopped me from developing a reasonable collection .The only flower jug that I do the not have is the Ship or sometimes known as the Galleon.My biggest gripe abou people advertising is that they do not show the items number which is generally of four digits and written in black on the base of the larger pieces.Unfortunately many Burleigh Ware items have no identifying name and numbers are so important.I think their range of designs and use of colours is admirable GO B & L.

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