Isaac Button puzzle jug, Soil Hill Pottery, Halifax, Yorkshire England, circa late 1950s

Made by the late iconic potter Isaac Button during a significant period towards the end of his career, displaying his rare backstamp on this puzzle jug.

The pot is immersed in liquid white slip halfway and when the coat of slip has stiffened the traditional pottery verse would be scratched into the surface (a technique known as sgraffito).

Isaac was a member of the third and last generation of the Button family to work the pottery continuously from the last quarter of the 19th century through to the mid-1960s when it finally closed.

At Soil Hill, before the Button family, there were 3 generations of the Catherall’s, a pottery family from Buckley, North Wales who dated back to the mid-18th century.

Isaac Button would regularly throw 1 ton of clay into pots in a day, he was a monument to the tenacity of the English Country Potter. A wonderful film of him working at the pottery is available to view on the website at the Yorkshire Archive Services. He was greatly admired by Bernerd Leach and Michael Cardew.

There have been exhibitions in appreciation of his work worldwide.

The film ‘Isaac Button, Country Potter’ was made and financed by the Arts Council of Great Britain, commemorating his skill and to preserve his achievements for future generations, as he was the last potter of this important site after 300 years of continuous production of country pottery.


Late 1950s/early ‘60s.


5.5’’h x 7’’w   O/A approx

14cm h x 18cm w


In excellent condition, no restoration, only minor surface wear commensurate with age.


Reference – Peter Brears – The Collectors Book of English Country Pottery

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