Set of 19th C. Prestonpans “Toby” Cruets
Four pottery figural cruets, including a salt, a mustard, a vinegar, and a pepper, circa 1850.
Dimensions: Each approximately 5½” high.
Each figure is decorated with a blue transfer printed willow pattern base and headwear.
Each is dressed in black shoes, yellow breaches, a pink waistcoat, a green neckerchief, a red frock coat, and a hat with a yellow crown and a willow pattern brim, clutching a mug of ale.
Because of the differences in wear to the figures, I believe that this is an assembled set.
While made in Staffordshire and other places, these cruet sets are most often attributed to one of the potteries in the town of Prestonpans, east of Edinburgh, in Scotland. This was an ideal location for the development of potteries as early as the 17th century due to the ample supplies of coal and clay that were easily transported by sea to the south side of the Firth of Forth. Consequently, these Toby cruets are sometimes referred to simply as “Prestonpans”.
A similar set of cruets is in the Collection of the National Museums Scotland.
Condition: Wear to enamels and some roughness to edges, otherwise in excellent condition consistent with age and usage.