The exact provenance of Museum Victoria's Harvest Jug is unknown however it may be generally ascertained. The jug is estimated to have been manufactured in Staffordshire circa 1850. A stamp on the bottom of the jug, under the glaze, attributes it to 'T. Pearson Sydney' who was an importer. Many potteries made wares for export with the retailer's/importer's mark. Initial research has shown that T. Pearson is listed as an importer from 1863-1866. He is also listed in 1857 as owning a Staffordshire Warehouse. It can then be deduced that around this period the jug was imported to Sydney.
The jug then made its way to the Streitberg household, on a farm in Gippsland. This could have happened in several ways: being purchased over the counter, being purchased at a clearing sale, or forming part of Mrs Streitberg's inheritance. It is confirmed that the jug was a regular household object, which was discarded by the son who inherited the farm in the early 1950s. The jug was then uncovered by one of his sisters, 'MS' in the 1960s, who then took it to Perth, WA. The jug stayed in Perth until its donation in 2008.
The land on which the jug was found was originally sold to Mr Streitberg as a government allotment in the 1880s by the Victorian government. It was established as a dairy farm. Mr and Mrs Streitberg married in 1901 and raised their family on the farm. Electricity was connected to the farm in about 1928: 'my father was very technically minded […] and I think we were one of the original people to have electricity […] in the area'. When Mr Streitberg died in 1945, according to the will the farm was divided between the three brothers, and was intended to remain until Mrs Streitberg's death. However, the estate was settled in 1951, with two of the brothers selling their allotments, and the final brother remaining on the original farm. When he died in 1987, the land was eventually sold on the 13th of January 1988.
The jug was simply seen as part of the household goods and chattel. It was not considered ornamental during those years, and was probably used in the kitchen as a milk jug by the family. When the handle was broken MS has a vague recollection that one of her sisters repaired it: 'She was pretty practical and I think she glued it back together and put it away in one of the sideboard cupboards'.
However, when the jug was retrieved from the rubbish in the 1960s, 'MS' cleaned the jug and bought it back to her house in Perth: 'I just thought it was a nice thing to have, I just thought: 'Oh well it's part of the family stuff''.
'MS', 4 September 2009. Personal communication.
Sand's Directory. various years, 1861-1866
Sydney Post Office Directory, 1857