Friday, December 17, 2010

Folk Art Pottery Face Jugs

Pottery face jugs are storage jugs that have been designed as a normal jug might be with the exception that the side has been decorated with a distorted face. These faces may appear humorous or they may look more sinister and scary. They first started appearing in the US around the 1700s, predominantly in the southern states of South Carolina and Georgia.
There are a few stories about the origins of face jugs and what the ugly face on the side of the jug is meant to signify. They were originally thought to have been used as grave markers by slaves to ward off evil spirits.
Later, the use of these face jugs were used to store moonshine with the scary faces used as a kind of childproofing. The thinking was that the scary face would keep children from investigating the contents and there is probably something to this theory with some of the very old pottery face lamps look fearsome.
There is also a theory, particularly with the face jugs that held moonshine liquor, that the face represented on the side of the jug was a depiction of how your face would look after you drank too much of the contents.
As mentioned, face jugs have been made for hundreds of years and this means it is possible to track down antique pottery face jugs. Every now and then they come up for sale at auction sites. It is important to ensure that a jug that is purported to be made during a certain period is authenticated before you buy it. As with all types of pottery there are different ways in which the markings can be checked.
Below is a selection of vintage and antique pottery face jugs for sale that may provide you with a valuable addition to your ceramic collection.

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