31 Club member, Cecil, attended a very small flea market in Greenville Kentucky, when a gentleman approached him inquiring about one of the exhibitors. Cecil informed him that the person would be back to his booth very shortly. As he was passing on this information, Cecil noticed a stoneware jug the man was carrying. This jug didn’t hold great interest for Cecil, but he asked if there was anything else he wanted to sell. This gentleman said he had several jugs in the car. Cecil hadn’t noticed another man listening to their conversation and as they headed toward the car, the other man followed closely behind.
When the trunk was opened, Cecil found it filled with jugs of all descriptions. The first one Cecil eyed was a Louisville Kentucky gallon jug worth a couple of hundred dollars, but while he was examining it, the gentleman behind him picked up something from the wheel well, wrapped in newspaper. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see it was a quart jug from Hartford, Kentucky. The man asked the price and was told $100. He said, “Sold,” and the piece had a new owner.
The size of the jug is important. Whiskey jugs basically come in three sizes: Gallon, ½ Gallon, and Quart. The general rule for jugs is the smaller the jug, the more expensive it is. Next in importance is the town it’s from. The smaller the town, the higher the price. This is because fewer were produced in very small towns. Cecil was well aware of this, so when the other man walked off with a jug Cecil thought he should’ve had first dibbs on, he was not very pleased.
After Cecil was done looking through the trunk, he met up with the man who had just purchased the jug out from under him and ask if the jug was for sale, knowing that he had just purchased it for $100. “It really isn’t for sale, but if you want, I’ll will keep you in mind,” was the answer. Cecil confessed to me that he should have bought it right then and there at any price up to $1,500, but he just couldn’t pull the trigger knowing that it should already be his at a $100. You see that jug will bring at least $2,000 on a bad day.
I learned that there are a few jugs even more valuable than this one. Keep your eye out for The Beaver Dam Kentucky Jug, because Cecil said if you find one, it will bring whatever price you ask. Watch for those whiskey advertising jugs. They bring good money as well. Uhl Pottery also put out a line of jugs at one time, and they bring a pretty penny, too.
A good book to learn more about these jugs and crocks is Antique Trader Stoneware and Blue & White Pottery Price Guide. It’s available used on both Abesbooks and Amazon, however it’s priced better today on Amazon.
Another fine bookAmerican Stoneware Wallace-Homestead Price Guide It’s also priced better on Amazon than on Abesbooks.
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