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Charlie Chaplin

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (probably, made)

  • Date:

    20th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (makers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Glazed ceramic

  • Credit Line:

    Richard Vincent Hughes Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Jugs and figurines modelled on famous actors and actresses were enormously popular in the 19th century, but the tradition carried on only infrequently in the 20th century. This jug is one of the exceptions and is modelled on the legendary silent film actor Charlie Chaplin (1898-1977) whose life was a real 'rags-to-riches' story.

Charles Spencer Chaplin was born in Walworth in South London, one of two boys of the music hall performers Charles Chaplin and Hannah Hill, known on the stage as Lily Harley. His parents separated while he was young and while his father enjoyed some celebrity, his mother and the two boys were often penniless. Chaplin never forgot the experiences of youthful hardship and his film persona of the suffering little man in ill-fitting clothes owed a lot to his upbringing. He began performing in music hall in 1898 as one of the Eight Lancashire Boys and got his break into the theatre in 1903 when the American impresario Charles Frohman was casting for streetwise lads in a theatrical production about Sherlock Holmes. After working in other successful stage comedy companies he got his first break into cinema and in 1913 went to California to appear in films made by Mack Sennett in California. In 1917 he signed a one-year contract with a rival corporation for $1250 a week, one of the highest salaries in the world at the time.

Physical description

Toby jug in the shape of a head, modelled on the silent film actor Charlie Chaplin wearing his trademark black bowler hat.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (probably, made)


20th century (made)


Unknown (makers)

Materials and Techniques

Glazed ceramic

Marks and inscriptions

Impressed mark on the back of his collar


Height: 21.8 cm, Width: 17 cm, Depth: 22.3 cm at deepest point

Descriptive line

Glazed jug in the shape of the head of the actor Charlie Chaplin (1889-1997).


Ceramic; Glaze


Moulding; Firing (heating); Painting; Glazing (coating)


Entertainment & Leisure; Ceramics; Film and Cinema


Theatre and Performance Collection

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