Antique Staffordshire twin handle frog mug with hunting dogs
An antique Staffordshire frog mug, this one twin handled and decorated on each side with a hunting dog scene in relief. The mug has been hand painted in coloured enamels on a natural white glazed base and is unmarked for a maker. The glazing has crackled but the mug is otherwise in good condition without chips, cracks or breaks. The inside of the frog mug has, surprise, surprise, a frog in it. You can see through the mouth to the bottom. Size: 5-1/4 inches tall // 13.5 cm -- 5-1/4 inches diameter // 13.5 cm
"A frog mug, toad mug or surprise mug also known as an ague mug was a type of ceramic vessel mainly used for drinking beer or similar alcoholic beverages. (...) These practical joke mugs containing frogs or toads date from circa 1775 and continued to be popular until the end of the 19th century. An unsuspecting drinker would be surprised as he quaffed his beer to see a frog or toad emerging from the typically cloudy beverage of those days as it was fully consumed and the amphibian came into view, with predictable results. In some cases the creature would gurgle and spit at the drinker through a hole in its mouth as the vessel was tilted and the dregs consumed. Some larger examples had two or three handles and might contain several frogs/toads.
"Ague is an illness involving fever and shivering. It was an old tradition that a sudden shock, such as the surprise of seeing a frog or toad in your beer would deliver a cure "
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