Most early examples of children’s mugs are a plain baluster shape, raised up from a sheet of silver by hammering the metal over a wooden stake. They were likely designed for their sturdiness and practicality over aesthetic attributes. In the 1760s, a barrel-shaped mug design appeared. The barrel shape was commonly enhanced with engraved hoops and staves. This design was popular for a period of time, with some examples in good condition being possible to find today.
By the mid-19th century, mugs became ornate in both form and decoration. Floral and foliate decoration was common in children’s mugs at this time. At the same time, however, Gothic arches also featured, paired with these popular flowery and fruity designs. Ornate Victorian christening mugs like these are very popular collectors’ items today. Many of these examples are decorated with attractive, extensive engraving, whether in the floral, foliate designs, or other designs.