John Howard
The Antique English Pottery Specialist
Heritage, 6 Market Place, Woodstock, OX20 1TA | +44 (0)1993 812580 | +44 (0)7831 850544
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Antique pottery large size spirit flask in the form of Souter Johnny, Portobello Pottery circa 1820 period.

Reference: 6697

Dated: 1820 Portobello Nr. Edinburgh Scotland

A rare imposing and amusing large scale pearlware pottery flask in the form of Souter Johnny.
Strongly decorated in bright enamels captures the affable face of Johnny who was immortalized in Robert Burns's poem Tam o Shanter. ( Souter is an old Scottish term for cobbler). The strong impressive handle is decorated in pink luster.

In 1789 Burns was asked to produce a witch tale to accompany a picture of Auld Kirk Alloway in the book Antiquities of Scotland. His response was a poem regarded by many as his masterpiece: Tam o' Shanter. The story was based on an old legend about two Ayrshire farmers who spent too long drinking and on their way home saw witches dancing with the devil in the ruined kirk at Alloway.

The central characters were Tam o' Shanter and Souter Johnnie and were easily identified by residents of Kirkoswald as neighbours Douglas Graham and John Davidson. The two were old friends who were well known for socialising enthusiastically in Ayr on market days, often returning home late in an imbibed state.
Souter Johnny's cottage still stands and is owned by The Scottish National Trust.

Dimensions: 10.00 inch wide 11.00 inch high 11.00 inch deep

Medium: pottery pearlware ceramic earthenware

Current Condition There is some historical rubbing the to the black enamel.


Price: gbp 1750.00 (Pound Sterling)
USD 2297.75 (US Dollars)

© 2018 Antique Pottery of John Howard @ Heritage, Woodstock, UK