Mr. Punch is possibly one of the most recognisable 19th century characters. His origins are in the grotesque servant Punchinello in Italian comedy which was introduced to England in the late 17th century. Mr. Punch's current form developed during the 18th century and by around 1800 he had not only taken the form we know today but had also replaced his wife Joan for Judy and acquiring a dog called Toby.
This model of mustard pot was first produced by James Barclay's brother Robert Hennell in 1868. An example by Robert Hennell of that year was formerly in the Colman Mustard Pot collection and is illustrated on page 92 of the catalogue of the collection.
Novelty silver was in great demand by middle of the 19th century and Mr. Punch, Judy and sometimes Toby featured on some of the most interesting items of silver produced during the period. Some other items to have featured them includes wine labels, vesta cases, children's rattles, toby jugs and of course condiment items such as the lot offered here.