Willow Pattern Toby Prestopans
Now this takes the term toby to a different level, these are obviously not jugs but were meant to serve as a full condiment set to adorn any beautiful table. I will say, these little guys hold no salt, pepper, mustard or vinegar/oil in my household. They are safely tucked away on a shelf dedicated to just them!
It is said these little men date to the mid 1800’s and got their name from where they were manufactured in Prestonpan Scottland! The detail of the border on these little guys is amazing. I simply love them. They come with various colors of jackets. The red/orange is the most commonly found and are pictured below (I am missing one of the set)
These little guys are so hard to find without damage. But honestly, I think we all have some sort of damage in our lives, so I don’t hold it against them. Damage builds character in my book!
The next rarest color in my opinion is the blue jacketed fellows:
You don’t see this color near as often as the orange/red. I am lucky enough to have a full set of this color. Now on to my favorite color combination: yellow jacket and pink britches. Real men wear pink! I am also partial to the tiffany blue vest color as well. If anyone has the prestopan I am missing, I will pay a pretty penny for that lad!
Look a the sterling silver covered cork for the pepper shaker. It is the only one I have. I rarely purchase these with any form of cork, let alone one with a sterling silver cover. It leads me to believe this was the norm for these sets, or maybe it was the norm for the more rare colors. Regardless I love it.
My friend Mason has one with a green jacket, pictured front and center! It appears to be almost an army green, but is the first one I have seen and the only one he has. Given he is the ultimate toby collector, I would say this is the rarest color jacket to be found!
These complete sets with no damage used to bring around $1,200 a set. With the internet and the ability to find them, each piece probably goes for $125-$175. To me each one is different and they are priceless!
Ok, now for the last form of a toby willow table ware item I have:
These were purchased as a set and more resemble the rare soft after “bobby” salt toby shaker. The border on this guy is a butterfly border. This is an early piece. I would say it dates to around 1890, a similar time frame as the bobby salt. The bobby salt is shaped like a police officer and I have not been successful in snatching one for my collection. I did however snag these beauties as they were sold as a set.
I love the green jacket, although I don’t know why they didn’t paint the back of the jacket. There is the thought these may have been made with child labor, so missing an area of paint, wouldn’t surprise anyone. These are not shaped like the standard Prestopans you see and honestly I am not even sure what to call it. Lets just call them salt shakers!
A reference to my willow toby bible (my terminology) shows a picture of the Bobby salt. The one above is very similar, only the Bobby salt pictured has the butterfly border on the hat and the standard willow on the base. Mine has butterfly border on the top and the bottom. The willow bible states that the prestopans were re-manufatured in the early 1900’s so many of mine may be from that time period. With no marks, it is difficult to tell.
The last Willow Toby Prestonpan find I have is material. I am in love with this material and at some point I will be brave enough to have someone make me a jacket out of this material. You can see it has the willow pattern in the background and every other toby has the willow pattern on it. Front and center is a bobby toby in the green jacket. What a wonderful way to showcase these guys.
Well until next time, stay away from too much salt, it makes you retain water! Christine