My taunting jug!! - Marked GH&C or HG&C or HG&C backstamp in circle {Editor says try GH & Co}

by Paula
(Kent, England)

My taunting jug!! - Marked GH&C or HG&C or HG&C backstamp in circle {Editor says try GH & Co}

My taunting jug!! - Marked GH&C or HG&C or HG&C backstamp in circle {Editor says try GH & Co}

My taunting jug!! - Marked GH&C or HG&C or HG&C backstamp in circle {Editor says try GH & Co}:- Hi there, I have an interesting job sourcing objects to order for props for the film industry. I can be asked to find anything from PINK SHEEP to an original old hut/shed of particular size/stature. During my research I seach boxes of china/glass/pottery/treen/metal for unusual pieces then warehouse them into the categories/genre for the piece.

I happened upon this jug, which I love. I have had it for many years on my windowsill and fill it with flowers every week - have done since I found it.

It's time to find out where it belongs in my historical and present time boxes, so please, if anybody could let me know who made this, which country it comes from and especially the date and what it would have been originally used for I would love to know please. I intend to leave it on my windowsill, but can make a note of where it belongs in those boxes for future reference.

I believe it is the willow pattern, perhaps Imari style, other than that, it perplexes me and taunts me with it's stylised backstamp which seems too modern for a particularly old piece.

My jug teases me everyday, I search every now and then for the letters to find where it belongs but google gives me lots of other rather biological information about the letters, no matter which way I arrange them!

I am however SURE that I found it on your website once, but lost the link in a wipe of the computer. I have searched your site, which I use often and thank you kindly for the information you hold here, but to no avail I'm afraid, so have decided to bite the bullet and put the pictures up for all to see my jug in all it's mocking, smug beauty.

Please help me, I feel it may take over my life!! At least ten minutes a DAY is spent pondering this item, over years, filling it with flowers, too much time spent pondering upon such a splendid thing which beats me with it's true story.

My mind is muddled with my jug and would appreciate greatly a release of the hold it has on my thoughts.

Please help me.......

Kindest regards,

A rather perplexed Paula :-(


Reply by Peter (admin)

To: "My taunting jug!! - Marked GH&C or HG&C or HG&C backstamp in circle {Editor says try GH & Co}"

Hi Paula the Perplexed

May I very much unperplex you?

Ok, before I do that valiant deed, I want to make a couple of comments.

First, thanks for your kind comments about the website, I
am glad it helps a professional like you with a very interesting job and you use it often. I volunteer to become the Bristol branch of your sourcing operation! ;-)

Second, your submission was close to perfection. If I had a 'Submission of the Month Award', I would give it to you because I love the human element and the story of you and your jug, LOL!

If only all submissions were so interesting. Nowadays, I just delete the monosyllabic ones which say "got a jug, give me the date, value and who made it". These ones no longer get published unless the mark is of utmost interest to all (sorry all you word-challenged folks) so other readers take note - THIS WEBSITE IS BOTH FOR FUN AND ALSO IS A FREE ONLINE DATABASE OF POTTERY MARKS FOR FINE CHINA. If it wasn't fun, why would I bother to do this for free when everyone else online wants a slice of your dollar? (as Deano said in another submission). The fact is, in order to get Google to index the page in their search results, pages now have to have a minimum number of words, which is why I ask for stories like Paula's. If we don't get found by Google, we can't share our pottery marks forum with everyone, so write your stories and follow Paula's example.

So, Paula, sorry about that little sidebar rant! Now I've got that off my chest, I can solve your mystery for you.

The submission you had previously found I presume was the one on the Heubach Brothers (GH - Gebruder Heubach), which said 'GH or HC or HG' However, this wouldn't have helped you had you found it again because although the initials of the name are similar, your mark is a different company.

The initials on your mark says "GH & Co" - which is an English company from Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, called Gater Hall & Co founded in 1899 and continuing until 1943, after which time the works was taken over by Barratts of Staffordshire Ltd.

Your mark was used from 1914. I am not sure how long this mark was used for, but this chinoiserie jug is very much the vogue of the late 19th and early 20th century. Chinoiserie was the fashion for European firms to replicate the patterns of the Orient. I am not sure whether your is Imari or Willow, or another style like Japanese Kutani (the orange colour suggests Kutani). You will have to ask an expert this one.

Hope all this helps

Peter (admin)

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

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

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Peter! You Are MY HERO!!!! XXXX
by: Paula

I waited, longing for your response, looking at my jug on the side, filling it with flowers, ready to give up a chance of finding out it's true history. I sighed, browsing your site, thinking you had given up on my jug, it just wasn't fancy/interesting enough for you to write about it, perhaps not a piece you would like to list on your site full of beautiful, dainty things. My thoughts turned to fine china, shiny glazes, perfect pieces, handsome hand painted masterpieces of a delicate nature. My friends (not many wish to pop in for a cuppa, for fear of being served a piece of "dead people's china") do not understand my obsession, perhaps a visit to the doctor - a 'holiday somewhere by the sea' would be the answer to my dull drums.

Drinking strong coffee from a rather pretty fine bone china cup, most positively everything my jug is not, dainty, beautiful, three beeps from my laptop confirmed that yet another order of 'large Murano Glass Vase with Purple & Gold flecks' & 'a full sealed bottle of 1920's lemon gin' would be my quest. Thoughts snapped back to business, I clicked mail, three positively impossible emails.. oh.. but wait.. a title I know... my breath caught... It couldn't be? My heart skipped.. dare I click... just to read 'sorry we can't help you'. I doubled clicked(usually my response is click, wait for it to appear, scroll down, read). I DOUBLE CLICKED!!! An act I don't perform lightly. A message from your site, my eyes blurry with words CLICK THIS LINK, a moments hesitation (a millisecond) then click the link - it simply wasn't building fast enough for me, there it is, MY JUG.... in Technicolor glory. ON YOUR SITE! More milliseconds, perhaps a request that somebody knows the answer. My eyes focus... A RESPONSE..MY NAME..MY JUG.. I start to read, a tear rolls(not unusual in my case) more blurry words, I blink, twice. It is ME you are responding to!

Oh Peter! My Hero!

I applaude you!

You have given the roots of my jug I could now think of 'Gater Hall & Co's' creation, which, somehow, didn't appear as romantic as I thought... 'Gater'.. hmmm.. Perhaps I was expecting something it wasn't. I resigned myself that it was 'nothing special' to anybody else but me. It had no pattern name, a special shape, you made it sound grande, Chinoiserie, now that's romantic, my Chinoiserie jug.

Curiosity being my middle name, I googled 'Gater Hall & Company', found a matching teapot sold on EBay, 'YE OLDE WILLOW, GATER HALL + CO, ROYAL OVER HOUSE POTTERY, BURSLEM'. I am ECSTATIC, knowing my jug has 'Royal' in there somewhere too! The backstamp to that matching teapot is different, but the pattern is exactly the same. I would never have found the pattern if you had not given me the maker. I am SO HAPPY to know that it has a fabulously romantic pattern name 'Ye Olde Willow'.

I might celebrate with a bottle of Lemon Gin from the 1920's... does anybody know where I can purchase one.....?

Paula's Pleased as Punch - Pitcher Perfect!
by: Peter (admin)

Thanks for that tense and graphic account of the joys of submitting to this site Paula.

I do get around to everyone eventually, honest! ... and all quality submissions do get published. Folks may have to wait a while though, as this isn't my day job (just organising the Queen at the moment - not literally, just the production of my sculpt of the Jubilee Queen portrait

the-queens-coronation-festival figurine dress

the-queens-coronation-festival dress figurine

queens-coronation-festival dress figurine

So 'Ye Old Willow pattern', no less! Upon Googling, I saw that many firms from the Victorian age called the classic willow pattern "Ye Old Willow". I didn't realise that was the traditional name.

The 'Royal' in the name 'Overhouse' comes from the fact that many famous firms worked from that potbank, the most famous of which was Wedgwood who used it from 1787. Apparently, he made his world famous and ground-breaking creamware from there. One entrance to the works was on Wedgwood place. The works was sold to Gater in 1905.

Peter (admin)

Great Grandfather
by: Geoff Price

I was intrigued to read about the jug. I came across it when searching for information about Thomas Gater who was my great-grandfather. He had three daughters: Mary (my grandmother), Matilda and Maud. Both Mary and Matilda (Tillie) married men called John Price which must have been very confusing. I knew Tillie's son Eric who was an architect. Maud, who, as a baby, was not expected to survive, outlived the other two and did not marry until very late in life and had no children. If anybody has any more info about Thomas Gater I'd be grateful.

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