Hello. We like to collect well-designed vintage pottery (and lots of other stuff) from the 1950s,
'60s and '70s. Here are some pictures and info of a selection of the things we've found.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Hornsea Jungle mugs. They were news in the 1970s.

Screen printed in black onto coloured backgrounds, the illustrations for these mugs have strips of newspaper cuttings incorporated into the bodies of the animals.

Known as Jungle Mugs, they were made by Hornsea Pottery in the late 1970s. The stylish illustrations have a sophisticated, highly graphic feel and yet they have subtle touches of humour. I love those blank expressionless faces. The range consisted of six different wild animals. As well as the tiger, hippo and elephant, there were also mugs depicting a lion, a toucan and an owl.

I don't know about you but I think they're just wild.


  1. I think the lion is my favourite on there, but the little companions to each are very sweet too, especially the bird looking up at the elephant. I was getting close to buying some Hornsea a few days ago. If you post more photos like the ones here I'm sure you'll push me over the edge.

  2. I'm not sure but I suspect these mugs were designed by John Clappison – Hornsea's head of design during the 1970s. After John left Hornsea in 1984, I understand that he applied for work at Poole Pottery. Although he may have been offered some freelance work, I don't think John ever took on any work for Poole. If he had, you may have had mugs like these under the name of your own beloved brand. P.S. Sorry for mentioning it but that's a tiger, not a lion. I haven't found the lion mug yet. (I guess you don't get many big cats in Sheffield though)

  3. These are great! I can't decide which I like best - I think it's going to have to be the whole set...

  4. Thanks Melanie, I had a feeling you'd like them.

  5. Hello,
    I love the mugs, wish I had one, great pictures. I can shed a bit more light on them as I've just been having a look in my John Clappison book "Gone to Pot". This range is the Jungle range of 6 mugs, produced between 1975 - 79. The range was officially launched in 79 at the International Spring Fair in Birmingham.
    Although highly modern and graphic, they were not John Clappison designs (not sure who designed them). John had left Hornsea Pottery in 1972 to work for Ravenhead Glass. He returned to work at Hornsea in 1976 until departing again in 84 / 85. He freelanced before taking up a post with Royal Doulton in 87.
    Wonder if anyone else knows who the designer was as I'd love to know also.

    1. The Jungle range (and later related Zoodiac range) were designed by Jack Dadd who had left Staffordshire Potteries Ltd in the early Seventies

  6. These are fantastic! So stylish and fun.