Why do these quaint dogs evoke the charm of the Victorian era so well?
Perhaps, its because they offer collectors a direct connection to Queen Victoria. Staffordshire potters modeled their figures after dogs known as Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, named for King Charles II of England who was constantly surrounded by these merry little dogs and gave them free run at court.
Local folk artists used these resources to produce many charming unsophisticated figurines to sell to the working class.
Aside from dogs there were depictions of other animals, royalty, famous persons, cottages, commoners, politicians, and even murderers!
Liquid clay called "slip" was poured into molds to make them.
When the clay figure had dried, potters fired it to a hard "bisque" state.
Staffordshire dogs have become one of the most popular pieces of collectible ceramics in recent years.
For those interested in Victoriana, nothing quite exemplifies it as these spaniels, originally created to be displayed on fireplace mantels during the Victorian Era from the 1840s through the 1890s.
As she stroked the dog, her thumb was frequently pressed on it's head.And it was her love for her own spaniels that attracted the attention of Staffordshire potters in the mid-19th century.Her beloved companion "Dash" became famous and the subject of many artists.They also produced detailed poodles, as well as pugs, pointers, foxhounds, sheepdogs, staghounds, setters, harriers and greyhounds.Staffordshire dogs appear most commonly in left/right pairs, but sometimes potters included a center figure.