Royal Doulton Character Jug, Santa Claus with Christmas Bells Handle D6964 (red and white coloration). Designed by Michael Abberley, issued 1996 in limited edition of 1,000. Size: 4.5″H (small)
The Santa Claus jug was introduced in 1981 and was the first to undergo annual design changes. Featuring different well-known Christmas themes, the handle has changed several times since 1981.
Collectors are always thrilled to see the many faces of Santa Claus produced by Royal Doulton over the years and what a dramatic display they make at Christmastime! Father Christmas has been immortalised as a Character Jug many times since the first model introduced in 1981. There followed two further versions in 1982 and 1983 all three having the distinguishing feature of a different handle. The Santa Claus jug marked a new direction for Royal Doulton as they produced a definite annual variation of a character jug to satisfy collectors enthusiasm, which was available for that year only. A further version of this jug appeared in 1984 with a plain handle and this remained in production in a large size until 2000 and in a small size until 2002.
Bill Harper modeled a tiny version of this jug exclusively for Seaway China in 1993 in a limited edition of 2,500. The version with a plain handle was followed by further commissions for us with differently modeled handles as follows: red and white candy cane (1995), Christmas parcels (1996) and teddy bear (1997), all in a limited edition of 2,500. One further small size variation with a Christmas Cracker handle was produced for sale in the USA in 1996.