For some time now, I’ve had a Swallows and Amazons mug at home, which I use to keep my pens in. Featuring the design of the Jonathan Cape book jacket, it was given to me by Scruffie Buchanan who stocked the full set of Arthur Ransome mugs in her shop aptly called The Museum of Childhood. I treasure it as a part of mine. It is difficult to find these now. They have become collectors’ items.
Not long ago I was presented with this handsome mug from Hill Top Cottage at Ealinghearth, by Stephen and Janine Sykes when they showed me around the Ransome’s last home, which they have restored in the Lake District.
I’ve just discovered that it is possible to buy mugs depicting scenes from the film of Swallows & Amazons (1974). This one (above) is quite fun as it resembles the cover of ‘The Making of Swallows and Amazons (1974)’ There are others:
There are various scenes, but if you want to drink to Captain Flint walking the plank, you can.
My favourite design shows the film poster of Swallows & Amazons, which comes in two ways.
There are a variety of other stills from the film to chose from. These mugs and other movie merchandise such as mouse-mats, jigsaw puzzles and framed prints can be purchased from StudioCanal, the film’s distributors, who have an online shop.
Meanwhile, Jago Silver has designed these Expresso mugs that are great for camping.
You can check the size on Jago’s website here.
Just when I was wondering if there were any more ‘Swallows and Amazons’ inspired mugs, I was sent this beautiful depiction of Hill Top near Haverthwaite, showing the view Arthur and Genia would have enjoyed in their twilight years. Here are two views of the same mug:
I am not sure if they are for sale but you can rent the holiday cottage at the far end of the building. Please click here for details. Tell them I sent you!
Photos of this historic mug were taken by Craig Wadhurst.
These bone china mugs depicting Ransome’s yachts Peter Duck and the Nancy Blackett cost £10, or lessor a pair, and are available from The Nancy Blackett Trust here. They also sell a selection of books, audio books and videos for Arthur Ransome enthusiasts.
I have had decorative maps of Arthur Ransome locations around Windermere and Coniston applied to mugs available from Redbubble. Here is one featuring the cover of my book available here.
These come from Australia, so take a while to arrive but are good quality.
The most popular is the mug with the map of Coniston Water, which you can find here
If you like using thermal cups with lids, the decorative map of Coniston Water can be found here
The Swallows and Amazons map of Windermere on a thermal cup can be found in a different colour-way here
A full range of items in this range including t-shirts and bags can be seen on a previous post here.
The most beautiful range of Swallows and Amazons china including these small coffee mugs featuring the map from the book (above) and this plate, were once available from The Nancy Blackett shop but you might find they have sold out.
They do stock larger, more practical mugs depicting ‘Swallow’, and the ‘Nancy Blackett’ for £8.50 each here.
Do let me know if you know of any other Swallows & Amazons mugs and where they can be found in the comments below.
20 thoughts on “Swallows and Amazons mugs make great Birthday presents or gifts for sailors”
Hello friend Sophie – can I have a tiny rant? I too have an S&A mug, of a useful sturdy size, but when I bought it I was shocked to see that the inscription on the side had the later description – a true account, certainly – of the young AR and his affection for the lake. But the original inscription by AR in S&A read ‘To the six for whom it was written in exchange for a pair of slippers’. So much hangs on that fragile dedication, which was spiked by AR in later editions because he had a brief feeling that the Altounyans were making too much of their identities as the Swallows. Almost the other way round, really, as the girls – esp Titty – suffered a lot at school as a result; but there was a cooling, and the inscription (re the slippers, which we all know about) got changed.
Wow – I’ll go and see what inscription my mug has on it!
I am lucky to have the set of four (a Christmas present!) but last time I looked for them they were hard to come by and on e-bay fetching high prices – I’ve never seen any other designs.
The mugs with the Jonathan Cape cover design used to be available from the shop Nauticalia http://www.nauticalia.com
but they seem to only stock the books these days. I’d heard that someone was trying to get them re-issued.
I have also been searching high and low for the book cover mugs but have had no luck; really hope they do reissue them!
I’ll let you know if I can find a supplier – I’m sure a member of The Arthur Ransome Group knew of a source.
I must get one of those mugs! I was on the Studio Canal site the other day and didn’t see gift items but they do market some superb colour and b/w images from the film. Very tempting!
If you play with the side bars you can order a sepia version of the images or poster, which looks good. You can get phone covers and everything. They are not cheap but StudioCanal own the copyright to the images so you can’t exactly make your own. In time these could prove collector’s items.
You’re right! I can get any of the advertised images on a mug, a fridge magnet, a key chain, or even a t-shirt! Clever marketing! Thanks Sophie!
I had a mug of WDMTGTS. It was my favourite but got “borrowed” and never returned (in fact the act was totally denied). Kept looking but – as mentioned – just not available now.
Wish they were reissued. I’d get them and make sure they didn’t go missing.
Ahh, never mind. Fun to keep looking! Have those mugs ever been available on eBay?
I’ve never seen them there. They are just the right size and shape for a decent drink.
Those mugs have endless uses and make excellent presents. I’ll have to see about printing my own!
I was given three of these Swallows and Amazons book cover mugs a few years ago, but am, sadly, down to one due to breakages. They were then made by “Art Meets Matter”, which no longer seems to be involved in mugs. Searching today, I found http://www.theropeshack.com/theropeshack/item_detail.php?item363=Swallows%20and%20Amazons%20Mug%20Collection I don’t know when their page was updated, but supposedly they do sets of four mugs and are just out of stock. I’ve sent them a note via their site asking to be told when I can buy. It’s good to be able to get them again.
Nauticalia used to sell those mugs. You could try asking The Arthur Ransome Group on Facebook – I’m sure someone there found a source.
Nauticalia now sell a new and quite pricey version; they look nice though!
The Nancy Blackett Trust also have some wonderful mugs available – proceeds go to Nancy’s upkeep. She is 85 years old this year: https://nancyblackett.org/shop/#!/Mugs/c/3987293/offset=0&sort=normal
I have your 3 mugs, Sophie. I really love them.
I’m so glad! I must design some more.