ASHTEAD POTTERS LTDPercy METCALFE, Jug; Rt. Hon. S. M. Bruce, Prime Minister of Australia Enlarge 1 /1


Ashtead, Surrey, England commenced 1920 – 1936



England 1895 – 1970


Rt. Hon. S. M. Bruce, Prime Minister of Australia
(c.1925) Description: Moulded portrait with Bruce, as a sphinx figure
Materials & Technique: ceramics, earthenware, earthenware, slip-cast slip-cast, with cream glaze on buff body Support: earthenware
Impression: 185/500

Primary Insc: Printed mark on base "[for Ashtead Potteries]". Printed signature on base "Percy Metcalfe".
Dimensions: 18.8 h x 19.9 w x 13.9 d cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1980
Accession No: NGA 80.1550

This jug is modelled to depict the Prime Minister of Australia from 1923 to 1929, Stanley Bruce, as a sphinx, complete with enigmatic gaze and paternal pipe, in the angular art deco style of the period. Bruce’s printed signature on the rim of the jug emphasises the cult of personality that began to surround politicians in Federated Australia.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra