YspeopleExplore tab



Is your toby jug worth a fortune?

About Maxine

Ys editor-in-chief ... and campaigner of your causes.

If you have a problem that our Ys community should know about, or some heartwarming news that needs to be shared, I'm listening!

You can email me here.

Donate now!
Did you know that some of those crusty-looking old toby jugs hidden in mum's china cabinet may be worth some serious coin?

We've all seen them ... those ugly old toby jugs staring grotesquely from within our mum, nanna or aunt's china cabinet.

They may be hideous, but geez, some toby jugs are valuable.

They may be hideous, but geez, some toby jugs are valuable.

Maybe you've inherited some, or been left with the task of sorting through all those dust-gathering pieces of china when a dear loved one has died.

Read more: Do you have this valuable $1 coin?

Well, don't donate them to the op shop just yet. Some of those ghastly creatures actually sell for thousands of dollars.

Here's what you need to know

Toby jugs fall into two categories.

The first date back to 1780s England, to Staffordshire, and are pearlware, creamware and saltglaze stoneware. 

Toby jugs are recognisable as a seated, fairly jovial, stout man dressed in the clothes of the period, wearing a tri-corn hat, usually puffing on a pipe and holding a mug of beer. The hat forms a pouring spout and a handle is attached to the rear. Many look quite crudely painted.

From these, the toby jug has evolved greatly over the years, most notably into what are known as character mugs and produced in great numbers by Royal Doulton. They tend to look like this: 

A variety of Doulton character mugs.

A variety of Doulton character mugs.

Prized Royal Doulton character mugs can fetch from a few dollars, to hundreds. Many collectors focus on these - buying large numbers of them and mid-Victorian mugs.

But it is the rarer, pre-1820 toby jugs that are worth the big money  - with some fetching up to $12,000 or more.

So if you feel you may be sitting on a treasure, you may want to check out this website, a UK antiques dealer specialing in rare and unique tobys. 

And if you do, why not share your tale of discovery - with pictures, of course - with the rest of the Ys community? We'd love to hear from you! 

I'm off to mum's! I'm pretty sure I spotted one of hers on that UK website. What a joy for her if I'm right! 

Character Jugs (1955)

Banner 1

Message board

Derek, over 2 years ago:
I am great
George, over 2 years ago:
What's up Thomas?
George, over 2 years ago:
Messages are now updated in real time on other browsers.
Thomas, over 2 years ago:
Thomas, over 2 years ago:
DJC, over 2 years ago:
George, over 2 years ago:
Message board active from June 2018

Have your say!

Your Great Australians

Trending stories
They may be hideous, but geez, some toby jugs are valuable.

Is your toby jug worth a fortune?

Did you know that some of...

(Nostalgia) Over 2 years ago
When it comes to great bloggers you can connect with, this list has you covered.

20 mature bloggers worth following

Looking for Australian...

(Entertainment & Culture) Over 3 years ago
The author believes the merger of many charities would be in the best interests of the needy.

Why do charities exist?

Should charities exist for...

(Kindness) Over 3 years ago
Do you have a canny tip for saving money.

Share your money-saving hacks here

Everyone loves to save a...

(Money & Business) Over 2 years ago
By following a few commonsense rules, online dating isn't so scary after all.

How to stay safe while dating online

Have you found yourself...

(Love & Relationships) Over 2 years ago
Weekly Poll
Photographic memories
It's 35 years since the Ash Wednesday bushfires in South Australia and Victoria claimed 75 lives and more than 2500 buildings.