Figure of the month

A pair of camels

J & S Mottashed Collection
June 2024

This is an interesting pair of Staffordshire camels, each about 6 1/4” tall, and dating to approximately 1860. 

J & S Mottashed Collection

Who is Pugh?

Alan Jamieson

Gordon Pugh is the man who everyone turns to first when investigating the provenance of a Staffordshire portrait figure. “Is it in Pugh?” tends to be the first question. If the answer is ‘Yes, Pugh has it’ the inquisitor breathes a sigh of relief. ‘No’ means there’s doubt and disappointment.

So who is this Pugh person who dominates collectors’ lives? Alan Jamieson bravely steps into the role of investigator to find out.

Christ Crucified!

Stephen Duckworth

At Easter, Stephen Duckworth reveals some early pieces of Staffordshire from his collection, depicting the crucifixion of Jesus and celebrating his supernatural resurrection from the dead.

Dandies and dandizettes: dressed to impress

Win and Pat Hock

In 1836, Scottish philosopher and writer Thomas Carlyle wrote: “A dandy is a clothes-wearing Man, a Man whose trade, office and existence consists in the wearing of Clothes. Every faculty of his soul, spirit, purse, and person is heroically consecrated to this one object, the wearing of Clothes wisely and well: so that the others dress to live, he lives to dress.” Win and Pat Hock celebrate these most stylish of Staffordshire figures.

Ralph Wedgwood, figure maker 1788-98

Pat Halfpenny

On 6 February 1837, the scientist-potter-entrepreneur-designer-inventor Ralph Wedgwood died in London. Pat Halfpenny introduces the man and the significant contribution he made to Burslem’s figure production during a very busy ten years.

The Birth of Jesus Christ

Stephen Duckworth

Despite being a popular subject in Western art, the Staffordshire potters did not produce a nativity scene. Stephen Duckworth offers some alternative Victorian figures for a festive mantelpiece.

Saving for a Rainy Day

John Howard

John Howard celebrates the enduring financial advice of the Reverend John Wesley, born 28 June 1703, a man who travelled 4000 miles a year on horseback, gave over 40,000 sermons and by the end of his life in 1791, was “the best-loved man in England”.

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