THIS mug's worth a butchers - with an auction value of £1,000 to £2,000.

The mug, under the hammer next month, belonged to Hereford butcher Walter Vaughan back in the 1700s.

Walter is recorded as a butcher in the city on apprenticeship records of 1752, and on an electoral register of 1761 alongside his brother, Richard.

But he was clearly well-established long before that date.

The mug, dated to 1740, bears the inscription “Walter Vaughan of Hereford. His mugg must not be brock” and is also applied with the arms of the Worshipful Company of Butchers.

A copy of his will is kept in the National Archives, dated to November 1800, just before his death, and outlines bequests to several children, including a son, Walter, daughter, Martha, with the bulk of his estate going to his son, Richard.

The mug is believed to have been made to commemorate Walter's marriage to Martha, recorded as having taken place at All Saints Church in 1740.

A book on dated English pottery published in 1891 has an illustration of the mug then in the collection of Harold Charles Moffat of Goodrich Court.

He is believed to have started collecting around 1879, so it is likely that the mug entered his collection in the decade before the book was published.

Having remained with the family ever since, the mug is coming on the market for the first time in 130 years.

Salisbury based auctioneers Woolley and Wallis have assigned an estimate of £1,000 to £2,000.

But Head of the Ceramics Clare Durham says it is possible that it could fetch more.

“1740 is a very early date for English stoneware, plus it’s very rare to be able to identify the person whose name is inscribed on items of English pottery. It’s a truly documentary piece and we’re very excited to be selling it," she said.

"It would be wonderful if it went back to Herefordshire after all this time."