Dating staffordshire figures
And then there is also the small detail that it just happened to be the region where the first potteries started in the early 1700’s, and grew into an industry from that first seed or two.English porcelain was a mix of several types of porcelain, and with the diversity of potteries and porcelain makers in Staffordshire it is no wonder that recognized Staffordshire pieces can be any one of many varieties.Before 1840, most Staffordshire figures were modelled "in the round", but during the Victorian era cheaper "flat-back" modelling became prevalent.The back of a figure was left flat and undecorated on the grounds that, when displayed on a mantelshelf, it could not be seen.Some of the estimates from the Bonhams sale will give you an idea of prices.There's an exotic water buffalo with rider from 1760 at £600-£800. A nesting bird group from 1820 is priced at £500-£700.This is an exciting prospect for the antiques detective that lurks in most of us.
In addition to exotic animals, which also include lions and tigers, there are also wild and farmyard animals and domestic pets.
Many of the mass-produced Victorian figures, and subsequent 20th-century examples (producers included the firm William Kent, Burslem, from 1870-1962), are less crisply moulded and have either "wishy washy" or garish colours in comparison to their Georgian forerunners.
My preference for the latter is also underpinned by their vernacular charm: the vivacity of their modelling and decoration is often accompanied by naiveties of form and scale.
Depicting human or animal forms, the figures first appeared in the third quarter of the 18th century.
They were made in the small area of north Staffordshire known as "The Potteries", with production centred on the six towns of Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley, Fenton, Longton and Stoke.
As a region, Staffordshire became the hub for many English porcelain makers and manufactories because of its close proximity to the source of Devonshire clay, a prime ingredient in the formula for most types of English porcelain.