Historical information

In 1885 John Francis Brown first planted 10 acres of vines in Milawa, Victoria. Brown Brothers was founded in 1889 when the vines were ready to produce their first crop, as John hoped his brothers would join him in this new and promising venture. This did not happen but the name remained. Since 1899 Brown Brothers has grown into one of Australia’s largest family-owned wine businesses and now operates several vineyards in Victoria and Tasmania.

These ceramic jars were used by Brown Brothers in the 1970s and 1980s to package Port, Muscat and Tokay. Fortified wines packaged in this manner would maintain their quality for decades as long as the wax seal was unbroken.

Elischer Pottery was started in Sandringham, Melbourne Victoria in 1947 by well-known sculptor John (Johann Wolfgang) Elischer (1891-1966) and his son, also named John, (known as Wolly). John (Snr) was born in Vienna and trained at the Academy of Vienna from 1908 to 1911 and was an Associate of the Royal Academy Vienna. John (Senior) died in 1966 and the business was continued by his son John (Wolly), until 1987 when it was sold. Prior to that, at some time, he started making pieces the brand NCP. The business continues today as “Unique Ceramics” in Highett, Victoria. They continue to use the “Elischer” brand on some of their products.


This jug is representative of an historic and continuing leading Australian Winemaker located in Northeast Victoria.

Physical description

An earthenware wine jug created for Brown Brothers Milawa Vineyard manufactured by John Elischer Pottery. The jug has a tradition loop handle. The bottom half of the jug is a traditional beige colour with a darker brown top section. The logo is imprinted in black and is covered in a clear glaze. The cork stopper is still intact although before being opened would have been sealed with wax.

Inscriptions & markings

Company logo on one side: at top a central male image between the text "Founding Father /John F Brown. In a central oval around the name "Milawa", BROWN BROTHERS/ VINEYARD AUSTRALIA"
On base: "97"