Whilst investigating the Melbourne Museum's Harvest Jug the question of its identity as a 'harvest jug' has arisen.
The following are the references and definitions of harvest jugs that have been considered:
The British Museum and the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon both refer to the harvest jugs created in the North Devon region. These are large earthenware jugs or pitcher used for carrying beer to workers in the field (Trustees of the British Museum; BBC Local History 2008).
'Ceramics Today' describes the ring shaped bottle as a harvest jug, used by farmers working in the field (Ceramics Today).
In Great and Noble Jar, Baldwin describes a harvest jug, also known as a monkey jug. These are ovoid vessels with an 'overarching stirrup handle and one or two tubular spouts attached at an angle'. It is also noted that these jugs were not necessarily known in the UK until 1900, and harvest jug was a term only used in some parts of the US; otherwise it was monkey jug. (Baldwin 1993: 174 & 86).
It is doubted by Blakey as to whether the Melbourne Museum's Harvest Jug should be considered as such because it is not large. She suggests, instead, that it is a standard jug with an agricultural theme (Blakey, 2009).
Williams-Wood describes a pearlware jug with 'Harvest Home' and the 'Farmers Arms' printed on it as a harvest jug. This jug was made in Liverpool circa 1811 (Williams-Wood 1981,colour plate G & p. 198). It is the most similar to the Melbourne Museum's Harvest Jug.
Baldwin, C.K. (1993). Great and Noble Jar: Traditional Stoneware of South Carolina. University of Georgia Press, Athens
BBC Local History. 'Harvesting Memories'. http://www.bbc.co.uk/print/devon/content/articles/2008/08/20/harvest_customs_feature.shtml Accessed 17 July 2009.
Blakey, C. 4 August 2009. Personal communication.
'Ceramics Today'. The Odd Spot, http://www.ceramicstoday.com/oddspot2.htm Accessed 7 August 2009.
Trustees of the British Museum. The British Museum Harvest Jug. http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/pe_mla/h/harvest_jug.aspx Accessed 17 July 2009.
Williams-Wood, C. (1981). English Transfer-Printed Pottery and Porcelain. Faber and Faber, London.