England: Copeland/Spode, 1965. This handsome piece of Churchilliana is a quite scarce variation on a jug originally produced by Copeland/Spode early during the Second World War, in 1941, and reissued in this unique shape in 1965 as a commemoration following Churchill’s death.
This example – one of only two we have offered – is in fine condition, clean inside and out with no appreciable soiling, no chips, and only mild crazing to the glaze.
The original “Galloway” style UK issue of this jug was a bit squatter, both wider and shorter. A U.S. issue was the same shape and proportion of the Galloway, just slightly shorter. This rather more elegant shape, called “Melba”, is quite distinctive and elegant, with a flared foot and no decoration to the spout. Of the three shapes known, this Melba style has both the greatest height – 7.75 inches – and the narrowest opening diameter – 3.5 inches. “Spode records disclose that the Melba shape was only issued in pattern Y446: black printed with the original British market crossed flags on the reverse… The reissue was probably made to commemorate Churchill after his death in January.” The front side of the pitcher features a cameo of Churchill with a warship to his left, a tank to his right, and a fighter aircraft above him. In an arc above the aircraft – slightly misquoted – is a line from Churchill’s 13 May 1940 speech: “ALL I CAN OFFER IS BLOOD, TOIL, TEARS, AND SWEAT.” Below Churchill’s image is a ribbon bearing a quote from his speech of 20 August 1940: “NEVER IN THE FIELD OF HUMAN CONFLICT WAS SO MUCH OWED BY SO MANY TO SO FEW”.
References: Douglas Hall, Churchilliana, pp.146-7, Max Edward Hertwig’s article in Finest Hour, Issue 116, Autumn 2002, Page 36. Item #007411