The derivation of the word ‘jug’ is from the Middle English word ‘jugge’ used to describe a large rounded vessel, usually with a handle and narrow neck, used to hold and serve liquid.
Wealthy Ancient Greeks and Romans stored their wine and oil in silver jugs because both lasted longer when stored in such vessels.
In Europe, pottery jugs became popular in the medieval period, 400 AD – 1500’s. At this time they had tall curved forms and were known as baluster jugs. English potters were influenced by French craftsmen, and this was reflected in the designs produced.
Greek oenochoes in 2000 BC were graceful pottery jugs, the style of which was revived in Europe during the Renaissance period (14th-17th century).
Small silver jugs for either milk or cream appeared in the early 18th century, along with the ubiquitous Toby jug, a character jug, originally taking the form of a seated male figure wearing a three cornered hat.
Silver cream jugs were also referred to as ‘creamers’ or ‘cream pots’.
Claret jugs were elegant vessels glass, silver or combination of glass and silver, specifically designed to hold decanted wine in the early 19th century.