Falstaff milk glass toby jug produced by Reed & Barton of Taunton, Massachusetts, circa 1890. First appearing in Shakespeare's "Henry IV Part I", produced around 1597, Sir John Falstaff is a fat, witty knight whose good humor and love of life enable him to see the world and himself as an object for ridicule and laughter. A braggart and rogue with enough resource to save face after various riotous exploits with his companions the Prince of Wales, Poins, Bardolph and Peto, he exaggerates his vices in order to expose their humorous side. He would like to see himself as an innocent man in a world of villains, but more objectively has to admit that he has "more flesh than another man; and therefore more frailty." Although he dies at the end of "Henry IV", Falstaff reappeared by royal command in Shakespeare's "The Merry Wives of Windsor" where Queen Elizabeth wished to see the roguish knight in love. Written within a fortnight, he cuts a sorry figure here in comparison to the jesting, self-indulgent character from "Henry IV". Falstaff's left arm and walking stick form the handle of the jug.
Reed & Barton