With my pipe in one hand and my jug in the other
I drink to my neighbors and friends
All my cares in a whiff of tobacco I smother
For life, I know, shortly must end
From: The True Hearted Fellow – British drinking song, circa 1835
For years the Tobys sat on a small bookcase at the end of a long hall in my mother-in-law’s home. Ron and I inherited the whimsical collection and have added to it without giving much thought to the history behind the little earthenware and china vessels. Tobys are modeled on characters from British history and literature. Sherlock Holmes and Captain Hook joined us as a nod to our love of mystery novels. Others Tobys were just in our paths at the right time and at the right price. Ours is a hodge-podge collection, not unlike a group of friends who meet in the village pub for a cool beer on a warm summer evening.