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McHugh Pottery

McHugh Pottery Kellpie

John McHugh founded the McHugh Pottery at Sandhill in Launceston, Tasmania in 1873. Under John the company produced bricks, pipes, tiles, flower pots and a variety of utilitarian pottery, including sanitary products and kitchenware. This production was unmarked so what pieces that have survived are very difficult to identify. In 1891 John passed his business on to his sons James and Hugh, in the following year (1892) John passed away. As the art in pottery is my principal interest I am not going to leave the early story of McHugh here.


From what I have been able to determine McHugh’s production of Art Ware (or “Fancy Ware” as it was called at McHugh) was over a very limited period. I have discussed this with Robert (the curator of the “Erin May Collection”), Andrew (the curator of “The McGowan Collection”) and Ross Pentreath. By looking at these collections we have determined that about one third of the examples in these collections are dated between 1933 and 1935. Ross tells me that he does have one pot dated 1932. It is our belief that McHugh only produced art ware between perhaps 1932 at the earliest and 1936 at the latest. 

 McHugh Pot Dated 1938

The pot above is dated 1938, this is quite crude in form and glaze and it really bears no resemblance to the McHugh production of the 1932 to 1936 period. Even the maker’s mark seems to be a rather rudimentary copy of the mark that was used just a few years earlier.

McHugh Mark Dated 1938  

If the date on the base of this vase is correct I can only conclude that by 1938 McHugh had lost the ability to produce the quality of production they where producing between 1932 & 1936.  

 McHugh Pottery Majolica Leaf Plate

 What sets McHugh’s production above that of their contemporaries (such as John Campbell Pty Ltd) are the impressive range of glaze colours that they employed. If you scan through the shapes below you will see the full majesty of their glazes. To me the outstanding examples of McHugh glazes are the three examples of shape 60 (see the the shapes by pattern number catogary further down the page).

 British Arts & Craft Pottery

It has always interested me that the colours and the “Drip Glaze” method employed by such Aussie companies such as McHugh, Campbell and Remeud is in the style of the Arts & Craft movement in Britain. In the UK this style of pottery had basically died out by the late 1920’s, here in Australia it had a life that went in the case of Remued right up until 1956. British manufacturers employing this style of production are C.H. Brannam Ltd of Bairnstaple in Devon (Jug above on right), Ruskin Pottery of Birmingham and Minton Hollins of Stoke on Trent in Staffordshire (twin handle vase above on left). What began in Britain as the dark subdued colours of the Edwardian era ended as bright and bold colours of Aussie Pottery. 

 McHugh Pottery Toby Jug

There are three names that are associated with the McHugh’s Art Ware production.  Henry Trevena was in charge of the manufacture of McHugh’s Art Ware. The thrower, glazier and mould maker Danny Beckett and the glazier Francis Manallack, both of whom had honed there skills in various potteries in Victoria. On page 103 of “The Pottries of Brunswick”, Gregory Hill talks about Francis Manallack and his time at McHugh. Greg says that it was Francis Manallack who was responsible for the cobalt glaze that was employed at McHugh to such a striking effect. 

McHugh Pottery Standard Mark

There are two style of incized base marks on the base of McHugh pottery. On page 157 of the “Encyclopedia Of Australian Potter’s Marks”, Geoff Ford shows an example of the makers mark in the style of the one below and attributes this mark to Henry Trevena (this mark is green one below).

McHugh Pottery Henry Trevena Mark

There are two styles labels used for the marking of McHugh Art Pottery, the first is a silver foil on brown paper and the second is a green and silver label

McHugh Pottery Silver Paper Label


McHugh Pottery Silver & Red Paper Label

There is also a stamped under glaze mark that is occasionally used on the base of McHugh Pottery. It reads "H McHugh, Launceston". Geoff Ford dates this mark from 1926 to 1939, I have only ever seen one art ware pot with this mark, it is a fairly nondescript shape number 10.

 McHugh Rubber Stamp Maker's Mark

 The Shapes

Vase - Shape 1

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 1McHugh Pottery Shape 1

Left not dated - Right dated 1935 

height 12.5 cm (5") tall


Vase - Shape 2

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 2McHugh Pottery Shape 2

Left dated 1935 - Right dated 1934

height 10 cm (4")


Vase - Shape 3

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 3McHugh Pottery Shape 3

Left not dated - Right dated 1934

height range from 15cm (6") to 20 cm (8")


Vase - Shape 4

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 4McHugh Pottery Shape 4 

Left not dated - Right dated 1934

height 11.5 cm (4.5")


Vase - Shape 5 

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 5McHugh Pottery Shape 5 

Left not dated - Right dated 1935

height 13.5 cm (5.4")


Vase - Shape 6

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 6McHugh Pottery Shape 6

Left dated 1933 - Right not dated

height range from 7.5 cm (3") to 13 cm (5.12")


Vase - Shape 7

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 7McHugh Pottery Shape 7 

Left not dated - right dated 1935

height 13 cm (5.12") 


Vase - Shape 8

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 8McHugh Pottery Shape 8

Left dated 1935 - right not dated

height 14 cm (5.5")


 Vase - Shape 9

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 9McHugh Pottery Shape 9

height 10 cm (4")


Vase - Shape 10

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 10McHugh Pottery Shape 10

Left dated 1934 - right not dated 

 height range from 12.5 cm (5") to 17.5 cm (7")

Vase - Shape 11

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 11McHugh Pottery Shape 11

height 10 cm (4")


Vase - Shape 12

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 12McHugh Pottery Shape 12

height 8cm (3.12")


Vase - Shape 13

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 13McHugh Pottery Shape 13

height 17.5 cm (7")


Shape 14

No example known!

Have you got an example of this Shape?


Bowl - Shape 15

McHugh Pottery Bowl Shape 15

McHugh Pottery Shape 15

height 7 cm (2.75")


 Vase - Shape 16

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 16McHugh Pottery Shape 16

Both examples are dated 1934

height 10 cm (4")


Vase - Shape 17

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 17McHugh Pottery Shape 17

height 9cm (3.5")


 Vase - Shape 18

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 18

Dated 1934

McHugh Pottery Shape 18

Height range from to 12.5 cm (5") to at least 15 cm (6")

Shape 18 is a very large shape, it has a larger girth than it does height. For instance the example from "The McGowan Collection" is 15 cm (6") tall and it has a diameter of 20 cm (8"). 

Flower Bowl - Shape 18

McHugh Pottery Flower Bowl with fitting flower aid lid

This Flower Bowl or Centre Piece is marked Shape 18, I have only seen one other example of this shape and it was not marked. Is the shape 18 number on the base of the Flower Bowl a factory mistake - I hope this will become clear if more examples come to light.   


Vase - Shape 19

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 19McHugh Pottery Shape 19

height 13 cm (5.12") 


Bowl - Shape 20

McHugh Pottery Shape 20

McHugh Pottery Bowl Shape 20

Both are dated 1934

Height 6 cm (2.36") 


Bowl - Shape 21

McHugh Pottery Bowl Shape 21

McHugh Pottery Shape 21

Height range 6 cm (2.37")  to 9 cm (3.5")


  Vase - Shape 22

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 22McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 22

Left dated 1933 - Right dated 1935

Height range 9.5 cm (3.5") up to 20 cm (8")


Vase - Shape 23

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 23McHugh Pottery Shape 23

Left not dated - right dated 1933

Height range 12 cm (4.75") to 14 cm (5.5") 


Vase - Shape 24

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 24McHugh Pottery Shape 24

Height 11 cm (4.37") 


Vase - Shape 25

Left dated 1935 - Right not dated

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 25McHugh Pottery Shape 25

Height range 8cm (3.12") to 10 cm (4")


Vase - Shape 26

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 26McHugh Pottery Shape 26 

Height range 10 cm (4") to 12 cm (4.75")


Vase - Shape 27

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 27McHugh Pottery Shape 27

Height range 9 cm (3.5") to 10 cm (4")


Vase - Shape 28

McHugh Pottery Pot Shape 28

McHugh Pottery Shape 28

Left dated 1935 - Right not dated

Height 9cm (3.5")


Shape 29

No example known!

Have you got an example of this Shape?


Vase - Shape 30

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 30McHugh Pottery Shape 30

Height 13.5 cm (5.37")


Vase - Shape 31A

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 31A

height 23 cm (9.1")

Iteresting that this vase is marked 31A, has anybody ever seen another example of this shape or a Pot marked 31?


Vase - Shape 32

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 32

Dated 1933

McHugh Pottery Shape 30

Dated 1934

height 8.5 cm (3.37")


McHugh Ball Flower Aid (Frog) - Shape 33

McHugh Pottery Flower Aid Shape 33McHugh Pottery Flower Aid

height range from 6.5cm (2.5") to 9cm (3.5") 


  McHugh Jar & Cover - Shape34

McHugh Pottery Jar & Cover Shape 34McHugh Pottery Shape 34

left dated 1934 - right dated 1935

height 11 cm (4.37")


Grecian Urn - Shape 35

McHugh Pottery Grecian Urn Shape 35

height 9.5 cm (3.75")

Image courtesy of Ross & Sharron Pentreath


Teapot - Shape 36

Have you got an example of this Shape?


Vase - Shape 37

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 37 (large)

McHugh Pottery Shape 37

height 22cm (8.75")


Sugar Bowl - Shape 37

McHugh Pottery Pot Shape 37

Dated 1934

McHugh Pottery Shape 37

Dated 1935

height 8 cm (3.2")


Sugar Bowl with Lid - Shape 37

McHugh Pottery

Dated 1934

There are 3 veriations of shape 37 - the first is a large twin handle vase. The second is a tri-handle pot which comes also with a lid. The curator of the "Erin May Collection" tells me that he has seen two examples of shape 37 with a lid. It could be argued that the lid comes from something else and that this shape does not have a lid - I will leave this argument until I have further information.  


Vase - Shape 38

australian/McHugh/mchugh vase shape 38.jpgMcHugh Pottery Shape 38

Both Vase are dated 1935

height 12.5cm (5")


Vase - Shape 38A

McHugh Vase Shape 38A

McHugh Shape 38A

Height 20 cm (8")


 Pin Dish - Shape 39

McHugh Pottery Pin Dish Shape 39

McHugh Pottery Shape 39

height 3 cm (1.25")


Ashtray - Shape 39

McHugh Pottery Ashtray Shape 39

McHugh Pottery Shape 39

Shape 34 comes in two veriations, with cigarette rest or without. 


Vase - Shape 40

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 40McHugh Pottery Shape 40

left vase dated 1934 - right vase dated 1935

height 9cm (3.6") 


Vase - Shape 41

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 41McHugh Pottery Shape 41 

Left not dated - Right dated 1934

height 14.5 cm (5.75")


Vase - Shape 42

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 42McHugh Pottery Shape 42

Left not dated - Right dated 1934

height 13.5 cm (5.38")


McHugh Pottery Shape 42

height 30 cm (12")

Note the height veriation between these 3 vase, all have the same shape number but one is huge.


Vase - Shape 43

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 43McHugh Pottery Shape 43

height 15 cm (6")


Vase - Shape 44

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 44McHugh Pottery Shape 44

height 11.5 cm (4.5")


 Vase - Shape 45

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 45McHugh Pottery Shape 45

height 12.5 cm (5")


Vase - Shape 46

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 46McHugh Pottery Shape 46

Left vase not dated - Right vase dated 1935

height 15cm (6")


 Vase - Shape 47

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 47

McHugh Pottery Shape 47

height 20 cm (8")


Vase - Shape 48

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 48

height 23 cm (9.1")


Vase - Shape 49

 McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 49

McHugh Pottery - Shape 49

height 20cm (8")


Trinket Bowl - Shape 50

McHugh Pottery Bowl Shape 50

McHugh Pottery Shape 50

height 7.5 cm (3")  


 Vase - Shape 51

 McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 51McHugh Pottery Shape 51

height 15 cm (6") 


Vase - Shape 52

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 52McHugh Pottery Shape 52

left dated 1924 - right not dated

Height 20 cm (8")


 Vase - Shape 53

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 53

Dated 1934



Height 30 cm (12")


Vase - Shape 54

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 54McHugh Pottery Shape 54 

Dated 1935

Height 17 cm (6.75")


Vase - Shape 54

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 54 (alternative) 

height 26 cm (10.25")

Image courtesy of Ross & Sharron Pentreath

Note: There are two examples of pots marked as shape number 54, Ross says the number on the base of his is very clear. Is the mark on the base of one of these a mistake made at  the time of production, I don't know. Does anybody else have an example ofeither of these shapes.


 Flower Bowl with Flower - Aid Shape 55

McHugh Pottery Float bowl Shape 55

McHugh Pottery Shape 55

Dated 1934

Height 5 cm (2"), diameter 28 cm (11") 


Candle Stick - Shape 56

One of these was listed on eBay some time ago,

it was a tall candle holder similer in shape to vase 38

 Have you got an example of this Shape?


Candle Stick - Shape 57

On of these was listed on eBay some time ago,

it was a candle holder with a handle for carring it 

Have you got an example of this Shape?


Shape 58

No example known!

Have you got an example of this Shape?


Shape 59

No example known!

Have you got an example of this Shape?


Cylinder Vase - Shape 60

McHugh Pottery Cylinder Vase Shape 60McHugh Pottery Shape 60

McHugh Pottery Shape 60

Height ranges from 20 cm (8") to 36 cm (14")


Shape 61


height 12.5cm (5")

Image courtesy of Bernie Gallagher


Vase - Shape 62

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 62McHugh Pottery Shape 62

height 15cm (6") 



Vase - Shape 63

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 63

McHugh Pottery Shape 63 

height 9cm (3.5") 


Vase - Shape 64

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 64McHugh Pottery Shape 64

height 10 cm (4") 


Vase - Shape 65

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 65McHugh Pottery Shape 65

height 15 cm (6")


Vase - Shape 66

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 66McHugh Pottery Vase shape 66

height 16 cm (6.3")


Vase - Shape 67 

McHugh Pottery Vase Shape 67McHugh Pottery Shape 67

height 13.5 cm (5.32")


Vase - Shape 69

McHugh Vase - Shape 69


height 13.5 cm (5.25")



Jardiniere - Shape 75

McHugh Jardiniere - Shape 75

height 16.5 cm (6.5")

diameter 21 cm (8.25")


Vase - Shape 76

McHugh Pottery 

height 19.5 cm (7.7")

Image courtesy of Ross & Sharron Pentreath


Deco Handle Pitcher - 96A

McHugh Pottery Deco Pitcher Shape 96A  

height 25 cm (10")

The example have pictured here does not have a shape number, but Paul McHugh tells me that he has an example fo this shape and that it is clearly marked 96A


Speicmen Vase

McHugh Pottery FlaskMcHugh Pottery

 height 9 cm (3.5") 

This wee pot may have a number on the base, it is hard to make out but I feel it could be 29 - can anybody confirm this.



McHugh Pottery Jardiniere

dated 1935

height 18.5 cm (7.25") 



McHugh Pottery Planter

height 16 cm (6.25")

This is an unusual shape, it almost appears to be a pot sitting in a saucer, but it is all on piece.


 Posy Ring or Wreath

McHugh Pottery Wreath

McHugh Pottery

height 5 cm (2") & diameter 17cm (6.75")


Flower Aid or Frog

McHugh Pottery

McHugh Pottery

height 6 cm (2.37")


Trough with Original Wire Flower Aid

McHugh Pottery Trough

McHugh Pottery - Australian Pottery

27 cm (10.6") long and 10 cm (4") tall


Flower Bowl with Flower Aid Lid

or Centre Piece

McHugh Pottery


height 12.5 cm (5") and 20 cm (8") diameter

The Erin May Collection has an example of this shaped marked 18.


Tall Flower Bowl with Flower Aid Lid

or Tall Centre Piece



height 18 cm (7") 



Wall Pocket- Bulbous Base


height 15 cm (6') 


Wall Pocket  - Flat Base


height 15 cm (6")

Image courtesy of Ross & Sharron Pentreath

There is at least one other wall pocket shape, but at this stage I do not have a photo of it.


Creamer 1/4 Pint



Creamer 1/2 Pint



Cramer 3/4 Pint


Each of the three creamers above where clearly marked to the base with their size. I have made them 3 different sizes to representive of eacks capacity, this is not an accurate depiction of each of the sizes.


Tobacco Jar or Humidor


height 11 cm (4.4") 


Minature Potty - A Salesman Sample



height 4.5 cm (1.25")


Leaf Shaped Pin Dish




Coffee Mug


height 11 cm (4.32")


Character Jug or Toby Jug



Dog Door Stop



33 cm (13") long

These seated dogs come in at least 4 colourways - I would love to have examples of the other to colour-ways.























0 #1 mrBarry 2012-10-13 12:27
HI i have two shape 53.s one blue one brown & gold in excellent condition would you be able to to me what they would be worth to sell beautiful pieces of pottery both signed & one dated 1933 regards Barry

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