Character Jug Price Guide, Doulton Character Jugs

Dick Whittington Character Jug 6375

The Royal Doulton Dick Whittington Character Jug, crafted by designer Geoff Blower and introduced in 1953, draws inspiration from the enduring English folklore of Dick Whittington and his cat. This jug, with reference number 6375, was produced until its withdrawal in 1960, and was created exclusively in a large version.

Dick Whittington Character Jug
Dick Whittington Character Jug. This example sold for $40 at Lion and Unicorn, January 2024.

The design features Dick Whittington dressed in dark green cap and robes, encapsulating the essence of the legendary character who became a symbol of hope and perseverance. The handle of the jug is ingeniously designed as a knapsack, further embedding the narrative of adventure and fortune into its form.

The first Dick Whittington jug was styled after the character from a play dated 1605, portraying Whittington as a poor orphan boy employed in a London kitchen. The story, deeply rooted in English folklore, tells of Whittington giving his cat to his employer to sell, in hopes of earning money. However, facing mistreatment by his employer’s cook, he decides to run away. Legend has it that as he fled, he heard the Bow Bells ringing, seeming to say, “Turn back, Whittington, Lord Mayor of London.” Heeding this advice, Whittington returned to find his cat had fetched a huge sum, leading to his eventual wealth and prosperity.

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The real Dick Whittington was indeed a figure of historical significance, serving as the Lord Mayor of London four times during the late 14th and early 15th centuries. Contrary to the rags-to-riches tale, the real Whittington was born into a wealthy family and was a successful merchant. His philanthropy and contributions to the city during his mayoral terms, including funding the reconstruction of the Guildhall and improving sanitation and public amenities, have cemented his legacy in London’s history. The Royal Doulton jug not only celebrates the folkloric tale but also subtly nods to the real-life achievements of Whittington, blending myth with the historical significance of one of London’s most renowned figures.

Dick Whittington Character Jug showing base
Dick Whittington Character Jug showing base

A second version of Dick Whittington Lord Mayor of London was made in as Special Edition one of 5000,  in 1989, for “The Guild of Specialist China & Glass Retailers”. from 1989.

The original 1953 version can be found at auction for between £10-£20 / $15-$30. A very fine version may be worth slightly more.