Rip Van Winkle character jug modeled by Geoff Blower and produced by Royal Doulton of Burslem, England, in a 1987 limited edition colorway of 1,000 commissioned by John Sinclair. Originally a character from a German folk tale, Rip Van Winkle was popularized by the American writer, Washington Irving, in his "Sketch Book of 1819". A happy-go-lucky farmer, Rip lives at the foot of the Catskill Mountains in the days when America was a British colony. During a ramble one day he meets a group of strange old men dressed in Flemish-style costumes, playing ninepins. They ply him with large quantities of Hollands gin, which sends him to sleep for twenty years. Upon waking, Rip Van Winkle finds he has grown a long white beard, his clothes have become ragged and his house is derelict. The village is also greatly changed: the inn known to him as the King George has become the George Washington. Despite these dramatic changes, he managed to find a role for himself as a village patriarch. Rip resting against a tree trunk forms the handle of this jug.