Pepper shaker, in shape of Toby Fillpot / John Bull, earthenware, owned by Amelia Hackney Wong, used at Bolong, New South Wales Australia, [1853-1916], made in Staffordshire, England, 1800-1850
The figure of a corpulent man with three cornered hat, jug and pipe first appeared in English ceramics in the 1760s.
Staffordshire potter Ralph Wood is often credited with originating the Toby jug - a caricature vessel based upon a likeness of the imaginary character Toby Fillpot who gained popularity through illustration and comic opera in the mid-1700s.
The character of John Bull first appeared in a series of satires by Scottish author John Arbuthnot. He introduced John Bull as the typical Englishman in the course of satirising Whig policy. The character was bad tempered but kind hearted and like, Toby Fillpot, somewhat corpulent with breeches and a coat. In some of James Gillray's political cartoons of the 1790s, John Bull bears a distinct likeness to Toby. Reginald Haggan notes that John Bull was one of a series of characters adapted to the Toby jug format (Staffordshire Chimney Ornaments, London 1955, p.39).
This pepper shaker was probably part of a condiment set. The hole in the top of the hat may have been intentionally made to improve the flow of pepper or salt.
Much of the significance of the object, however, derives from its place in the collection of material from the Wong family. It was probably brought out from England in 1853 by the Hackneys, a well-educated and prosperous family who settled on farm land south of Bathurst. Amelia Hackney lived with her family until she met and married Chinese immigrant Wong Sat in 1864. They ran a store in the gold mining town of Tuena near the Hackney property. Seven of their 10 children were born there. In 1875 the family moved south to the Fullerton/Bolong area where they operated another store. At a time of increasing anti-Chinese feeling from the 1880s, the Wongs were an integrated part of the predominantly Anglo-Celtic community around their store. The children were brought up exposed to the Chinese heritage of their father and the English heritage of their mother - evidenced by ceramics such as this pepper shaker.
This pepper shaker was made in Staffordshire, England between 1800-1850.
This pepper shaker was probably brought out from England in 1853 by the Hackneys who settled on farm land south of Bathurst. Amelia Hackney lived with her family until she met and married Chinese immigrant Wong Sat in 1864. They ran a general store until 1916 after the death of Sat. The building and the surviving stock remained on the property, which was used as a sheep farm and run by Henry Wong. In the 1970s Alan 'Bob' Wong took over the property. The shop stock remained largely intact until Alan sold some of it to Peter Doyle. The overall Wong store collection is comprised of various collections. The first was donated by Anne Schofield in 1984, the second was purchased from the family in 1997. Peter Doyle donated more material in 2003.