Merlin character jug modeled by Garry Sharpe and produced by Royal Doulton of Burslem, England, between 1960-1998. The enchanter of Arthurian romance, Merlin possibly was based on a Welsh bard of the sixth century named Myrddin to whom a number of poems have been attributed. Geoffrey of Monmouth transformed Myrddin into Merlin, the magician, trusted counselor of King Arthur. In the "History of the Kings of Britain", Geoffrey tells how Merlin, the son of a demon and a princess, prophesied that the British, led by King Arthur, would defeat the Saxons. The wizard is later described bringing Stonehenge from Ireland and erecting it on Salisbury Plain and also arranging the conception of Arthur. Although the Arthurian Romances cast Merlin as Arthur's mentor throughout his reign, in the original legends he disappears soon after Arthur's coronation. There have been several theories of what became of Merlin, for, half-devil, he can never die. In Tennyson's "Idylls of the King" he is deceived by Vivian, the Lady of the Lake, who tricks him into divulging his magic and then uses his spells to imprison him forever in an oak tree. An owl forms the handle of this jug. Along with this large size, a small size (D6536) and miniature size (D6543) were also produced.
Mystical Characters Collection