Character Jug Price Guide, Variations, Prototypes and Colourways

Rare Royal Doulton Prototype Neil Armstrong The Astronaut Character Jug

Royal Doulton, renowned for its exquisite ceramics and collectibles, often sees its rarities and prototypes fetching impressive sums at auction. A striking example is the Rare Royal Doulton Prototype of Neil Armstrong, The Astronaut Character Jug. This exceptional piece, which sold for £3,900 at Potteries Auction in March 2021, exemplifies the blend of artistic craftsmanship and historical significance that Royal Doulton is celebrated for.

Rare Royal Doulton Prototype Neil Armstrong The Astronaut Character Jug
Rare Royal Doulton Prototype Neil Armstrong The Astronaut Character Jug

Crafted by Timothy Pots in 2008, this jug was proposed to be the 2009 character jug of the year. However, it was never put into production, with the Winston Churchill D7298 ultimately being chosen for that honour. Despite this, the Neil Armstrong prototype stands out for its intricate design and the choice of its subject, Neil Armstrong, the legendary astronaut.

Reverse of Prototype Neil Armstrong The Astronaut Character Jug
Reverse of Prototype Neil Armstrong The Astronaut Character Jug

Neil Armstrong, born on August 5, 1930, in Wapakoneta, Ohio, became a global icon when he made history on July 20, 1969, as the first human to walk on the moon. His famous words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” uttered as he stepped onto the lunar surface, resonated around the world and marked a monumental achievement in space exploration. Armstrong’s legacy extends far beyond his moonwalk; he was a naval aviator, a test pilot, and an aerospace engineer. His dedication and courage have inspired generations, making him a symbol of the endless possibilities of human endeavor.

The jug’s design pays homage to Armstrong’s extraordinary achievements. While the likeness to Armstrong is deemed acceptable, the jug’s handle is particularly notable. It features a detailed representation of the moon, a rocket, the US flag, and a helmet at the front. The reverse side shows an astronaut planting a flag, a direct nod to one of the most iconic moments in history. Measuring 19cm in height, this prototype is not just a collector’s item but a tribute to a momentous event and the man who played a pivotal role in it.