Bootmaker character jug modeled by David B. Biggs and produced by Royal Doulton of Burslem, England, between 1963-1983. Boot making was one of the largest trades practiced in eighteenth century Williamsburg and throughout the early American colonies. The first bootmakers and shoemakers arrived in America at Jamestown in 1610, and the trade was thriving as early as 1616. By the 1660s the Virginia Assembly directed that each county must erect a tannery and a shoe manufactory. It also imposed tariffs on leather and shoes exported from Virginia and stipulated that the fees collected go to finance the founding of the College of William and Mary. When a man came into a shoe shop in 1773 to buy a pair of boots, he selected from a stock of sale shoes in popular-styled, already-sized boots. If his feet were an unusual size, he could have a pair made to suit his taste and fit his individual size. A boot, hammer and pair of shoes form the handle of the jug. The Bootmaker character jug was made in three sizes with this being the largest along with small (D6579) and miniature (D6586) sizes.
Characters from Williamsburg Collection