The Distin Family

Research of a Moulded Relief Jug

Early in 2014 Warren Macy asked me if I knew anything about the figure which appears on the relief moulded jug pictured below:

At that time I didn’t know much about it, so I couldn’t be of help to him.

Several months later at the FBICC annual auction, the jug was offered and I bought it. It had been classified for auction as a Musician figural jug and was subsequently entered as such into the FBICC Pattern Identification Database.

In my search for information, I looked in two of my reference books on jugs, A Collector’s Guide to Nineteenth Century Jugs by K. Hughes and Relief Moulded Jugs 1820-1900 by R. K. Henrywood. In the latter book  I had remembered seeing a picture of the “Musician.”  This book said that the figure pictured on this jug represented a member of the family of Distin musicians.

But who were the Distins?  On the internet Wikipedia gave this information about the Distin family:

‘The Distin family was a family of British Musicians in the 19th century who performed on saxhorns and was influential in the evolution of brass instruments in then popular music. Henri Distin, son of John Distin eventually became a celebrated brass instrument manufacturer in England and the United States’.

According to my books, the jug was made by Samuel Alcock.  But because the jug is not marked, the potter remains uncertain.

The FBICC education jury found the research quite interesting and also became convinced that the figure is one of the Distin family members.

I thoroughly enjoyed doing this research which taught me fascinating facts about Victorian musicians and pottery.

Dan Sapira