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Museum experts

World War II Wilkinson toby jugs



Stephen Mullins, a graduate of Dartmouth College and the business school at the University of Michigan, was the chairman of a real estate investment firm in Evanston, IL.  Mullins began collecting more than 60 years ago when a camp counselor in Canada enticed him with a Royal Doulton brochure to spend the balance of his camp candy allowance, all of nine dollars, to buy six small character jugs.  Today the collection numbers over 8,000 and is the largest collection of Toby and Character Jugs in the world.  With David Fastenau, he is the co-author of two books: Toby & Character Jugs of the 20th Century and A Century of Royal Doulton Character & Toby Jugs released in 2008.  Additionally, Mullins contributed to numerous other books on the subject and was considered an authority on the subject by collectors throughout the world. He was also a national champion and world-medalist master swimmer.



Kevin Pearson's interest in antiques started at Bradford University where he graduated with an MBA in 1981, a few months after buying and selling his first toby jug at a loss.  After two years in the advertising business, he left the corporate world and published his first Royal Doulton character jug price guide.  In 1986 he formed Kevin Francis Publishing to publish his second edition of Royal Doulton character jugs and his first book on Royal Doulton figurines.  This was followed by a series of publications including British Toby Jugs by Vic Schuler 1986.  In 1985 Kevin commissioned the Collecting World series of character jugs from Royal Doulton, then a series of full-size Toby jugs from noted sculptress Peggy Davies.  This was the start of Kevin Francis Ceramics and fittingly enough, the first release depicted Vic Schuler as Yorkshire Toby holding his recently published book.  In 1993 Kevin moved to the United States and released a number of US pieces including the Star Trek Collection, reinterpretations of early Toby jugs, and others such as Al Catone and Uncle Sam.  In 1998, in partnership with Steve Mullins, the American Toby Jug Museum was opened in Kevin's new British Collectibles shop in Evanston, IL.  The next year Kevin published the book Toby & Character Jugs of the 20th Century by Steve Mullins and David Fastenau under the Kevin James imprint.  In 2008 Kevin semi-retired from the pottery business to focus on other business interests while maintaining his directorship of the Museum.  In 2019 Kevin assumed the Executive Director role of the American Toby Jug Museum.




David Fastenau graduated from Iowa State University and holds an MBA from Santa Clara University. He is currently the director of marketing for a high tech firm in the Silicon Valley of Northern California.  Fastenau’s passion for collecting character and Toby Jugs was spurred when he inherited a small collection of Royal Doulton jugs from his grandmother.  With these jugs, he set out to learn as much about character and toby jugs as possible. His collection continues to grow, numbering over 800 character and toby jugs. Formerly publisher of "Tobies to Tinies", a newsletter for the Toby and character jug enthusiast, he discontinued its publication to research and write Toby & Character Jugs of the 20th Century, his first collaboration with Steve Mullins. Fastenau also has spoken to Questers’ groups, provided references for articles and presented at Royal Doulton conventions. He lives with his wife, Michelle, on the Garden Island of Kauai.




Louise Irvine is an established lecturer and writer with a special interest in nineteenth and twentieth century ceramics.  A graduate in Fine Arts from Edinburgh University, she has written numerous books and articles about Royal Doulton wares and, in 1980, initiated the Royal Doulton International Collectors Club, where she edited and wrote for the quarterly magazine and produced many exhibitions.  Irvine lives in London with her husband and son and travels extensively to lecture, organize collectors’ conventions and broadcast on ceramics in the U.S., the U.K. and other countries.  She is regarded as one of the foremost authorities on Royal Doulton wares.


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