Originally called 'flower jugs', probably Burgess and Leigh's most popular and well known are ornate character handle jugs, designs including flamingo, kingfisher, pheasant, parrot, dragon and squirrel. Each design command a price some being rare than others. For example the 'Pheasant' is much more desirable than the 'Kingfisher'. Scarce shapes such as the 'Guardsman' are extremely rare and have sold for figures well over £1000!
Some of the earlier shapes were designed by Charles Wilkes and as a response to their extreme popularity a range of other designs were produced including 'Butterfly' and 'Village Blacksmith' and even a sport orientated range with examples including 'Cricketer', 'Tennis Player' and 'Golfer'. Charlotte Rhead however was Burgess & Leigh's most acclaimed designer, joining the pottery in 1926 and introducing the technique of tube-lining to the company (refer to the dedicated article about Charlotte Rhead for more information). Rhead concentrated mainly on pieces in the Art Deco style displaying fruit, flora and stylised landscapes.
The pottery Hulme & Booth was where Burgess & Leigh's roots lay with the company relocating in 1889 to Middleport in Burslem, Staffordshire. In 1912 the Leigh family gained total control after R.S. Burgess died, the company still producing today.