An 1897 mug

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A mug from 1897

In 2012 it is likely that many school-children in Britain will receive a medal or mug as a souvenir of the Diamond Jubilee of the reign of Queen Elizabeth 11. In most homes there are one or two commemorative mugs tucked away from past events such as the Coronation of 1953 or the end of the Second World War.

The practice of making and giving mugs as commemorative items on a large scale dates from 1887 and the Jubilee of Queen Victoria. She had reached 50 years as the Queen and a great celebration was held. It was not expected that she would live another 10 years and reach the 60 year landmark; but, she did and so an even larger celebration was held with the name Diamond Jubilee.

This mug shows that even quite small places such as Alrewas wanted to commemorate the 1897 event with a local flavour. Alrewas is in Staffordshire close to Burton on Trent. Villages and large towns commissioned items like this, or a medallion, for the Diamond Jubilee and some built local wells, clocks or halls as more permanent memorials of the occasion.

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