Jug, ceramic (Parian ware). White reliefs on a lilac ground depict the Distin family. Family members are shown holding an artist's depiction of saxhorns. The handle of the jug is embellished with similar representations of saxhorns.
In the mid 19th century, John Distin was one of London's leading musical instrument dealers. He promoted his trade by playing in a brass quintet with his four sons. In 1844, Distin began importing saxhorns from Adolphe Sax in Paris and later produced similar instruments in London under license. This trade became very significant because the saxhorn was the basis of the instruments later used in brass bands. This jug, which shows the Distins playing saxhorns, is part of the Adam Carse collection on display at the Horniman Museum. Carse was very interested in the history of brass instruments, and his collection contains examples of instruments made by both Sax and Distin.