KEELING’S FARMYARD PATTERN
From Jennifer Soan
Here is a jug depicting a prosperous looking farmer and his wife. The well-ordered farmyard no doubt mirrors the successful farming practice to be seen up and down the country during the eighteenth century, and which was the admiration (and envy) of foreign visitors. The eighteenth century saw an increasing interest in, and practice of, a more scientific approach to the different branches of husbandry and, as a result, agricultural societies and shows were a feature of many market towns in England and the writings of such people as Arthur Young and Robert Bakewell were widely read. The scene on the jug may well represent what could be achieved.
In Bulletin 60 page 10 a creamer in this pattern was attributed by the late Hugh Stretton to James Keeling. He had found shards of both the creamer shape and the Farmyard pattern on the site of the James Keeling factory at Hanley. He also showed a teapot with a handle matching that on the creamer and a pattern with a large unidentified building similar to Stackpole Court, shards of which he had also found on the site. Neither of these pieces has the same border as the jug shown here, nor is the handle shape similar, but the blue painted line on either side of the handle appears on all three. It seems reasonable to attribute the jug to Keeling.