Figure of the month

Dudson Mower and Mate figure

December 2019

This pair of figures belongs to Alan Sturrock. Thanks to a “my staffordshire figures” blog by Myrna Schkolne we are confident in attributing them to the Dudson factory. Dudson used several distinctive bocage forms that are very useful in identifying their figures, but these figures lack typical bocages. Instead, look at the x-shaped sprig on the Mate base. That x-sprig is specific to Dudson. When such a sprig is used it is akin to a Dudson signature. The Mower base also has x-sprigs on it but they are partial; they most likely broke as they were formed. Pictured below is an enlarged view of the x-sprig… it really is quite distinctive. 

​​The Dudson pot bank has operated as a family business from its foundation to the present day. In 1800, Richard Dudson established his first works at Broad Street, Shelton, and by 1830 Dudson was a specialist figure manufactory, although contemporary trade directories fail to list it as such.

Dudson’s establishment coincides with the closure of Ralph Wood’s pot bank. Wood died in 1795, but his son, Ralph Wood III, operated the pot bank until his own premature death in 1801. We repeatedly see Dudson figures formed just like Ralph Wood figures. It is possible that Dudson simply copied the Ralph Wood figures, but it is more likely that Dudson acquired some of the Ralph Wood moulds.

More Figures of the month

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

July 2024

This is a rare Staffordshire figure of a woman seated on a couch, with her dog beside her.  It is generally believed to represent Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and her dog Flush. This figure stands about 5 ¼” tall and dates to approximately 1846-1850.

A pair of camels

June 2024

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

Prophet Elijah and the Widow of Zarephath

May 2024

This is a fine pair of early Staffordshire figures of Elijah, the Old Testament prophet, and the Widow of Zarephath. This pair of figures is attributed to Obadiah Sherratt, the table bases, bocage, and flowers being typical of Sherratt.   

Boys playing cricket

April 2024

This is a pair of Staffordshire figures of unidentified boys playing cricket, standing 6 ½” and 6 ¾” tall, dating to around 1850. 

Tom King and Dick Turpin

March 2024

This is a fine pair of Staffordshire figures of Tom King and Dick Turpin, probably originating from a theatrical production.  Note the four separately moulded legs on each horse. 

Artabanes

February 2024

This is a theatrical figure representing an actor in the role of Artabanes, from the opera Artaxerxes. The figure stands 11 3/4” tall, dates to approximately 1830-1840, and is very rare. There is a dagger in his right hand, part of the blade being hidden beneath his sash.  The interior and the edging of his coat are fully lined with ermine.

Membership

We warmly welcome new members.

Wherever you are in the world, whether you are an experienced collector, a researcher interested in the folk art of England, or just someone who is intrigued by Staffordshire figures, please join us for £45 / $50 per year per household.