Black Transferware Cries of London Liquor Barrel DECANTER FOR LAMP / BAR


Brand Royal Staffordshire

None can resist the romance of the Cries of London and the  appeal of the liberty of vagabondage, of those who had no indenture or task master, and who travelled wide throughout the city, witnessing the spectacle of its streets, speaking with a wide variety of customers, and seeing life. In the densely populated neighborhoods, it was the itinerants’ cries that marked the times of day and announced the changing seasons of the year. Before the motorcar, their calls were a constant of street life in London. Before advertising, their songs were the announcement of the latest, freshest produce or appealing gimcrack. Before radio, and television, and internet, they were the harbingers of news, and gossip, and novelty ballads. These itinerants had nothing but they had possession of the city.

In spite of their colourful aesthetic, these fascinating prints of Itinerant Traders by William Marshall Craig are unexpectedly revealing of the reality of the lives of the dispossessed and outcast poor who sought a living on the streets as hawkers at the beginning of the 19th century. 

 This large spirits barrel depicts scenes from William Marshall Craig’s "Cries of London" Series of prints.  It is black transfer printed and depicts two scenes.  On one side is "Sound and round, Fivepence a pound.  Duke Cherries" and the other  side "Fine Chairs to Mend".

The scene is handpainted within the lines of the transfer.

Truly, this is a wonderful find! I have sought these out over my many years of dealing in English transfer ware and I've come across only a handful.  These make gorgeous lamps!

Measures: about 9.75" across ( at widest) x 9" deep from front of spigot to back of barrel x 11.5" tall with lid on. Probably holds about a gallon.

Condition: Crazing around base with some browning and a crack in the lid as shown.  Discounted by $85 due to crazing and cracked lid.


Last photo: Gail Clairidge converts a pair of the same kind, though different scene, into lamps for a sideboard.