Pearlware jug depicting a boxing match

This jug shows a boxing match between Tom Molineaux and Tom Cribb in 1810. It was made in 1811. Tom Molineaux was born in 1784 as a slave in Virginia, America. He was trained by his father Zachary Molineaux and boxed with other enslaved men as entertainment for the plantation owners. He gained his freedom when he made his plantation owner lots of money through boxing.

Even though Molineaux was defeated after 39 rounds, he impressed the public and became a celebrity. This jug commemorates the boxing match. Sadly he later died penniless in Dublin in 1818.

© Hull Museums

Accession reference: Hull Museums, KINCM:1971.36