Figure of the month

Giaffier and Zuleika

Courtesy Richard Gardner Antiques
March 2022

This figure portrays a highlight in Act I Scene 3 of William Dimond’s dramatised version of Byron’s poem “The Bride of Abydos”.  Mr Barton and Miss Rosa Henry are the actors, and the production was probably that at Astley’s Ampitheatre in London, in April 1847.

The figure is circa 1847 and 12.75 inches high and can be found in Pugh, page E379, figure 60.

Courtesy Richard Gardner Antiques

Who were Giaffier and Zuleika?

In Byron’s poem, Giaffier was a cruel and ruthless ruler in Turkey. His beautiful daughter Zuleika falls in love with Selim, a man adopted by her father as his own son. Selim reveals to Zuleika that his whole family were killed by Giaffier, vowing to revenge them and marry Zuleika. Disguised as a pirate, he ambushes Giaffier but is attacked by the ruler’s men. Selim tries to reach Zuleika, who is waiting for him in a secret location, but he dies on the beach, the fatal blow struck by Giaffier himself. When she hears of this, Zuleika dies of sorrow, leaving Giaffier to live out the rest of his life in solitude and unhappiness.

Dimond found Byron’s ending too gloomy and catastrophic so used a different scene from another of Byron’s poems!

More Figures of the month

Lord Raglan

June 2023

This is a very rare and desirable titled Staffordshire figure of FitzRoy James Henry Somerset Raglan, aka Field Marshal Lord Raglan.  The figure stands a little over 13” tall and dates to around 1854.  It may be found in Pugh’s 1987 edition of Staffordshire Portrait Figures, page 258, and in Harding Book One, page 121.

Pair of white cats

May 2023

This is a rare pair of seated cats, approximately 13 ½” tall.  They are decorated in bright gold and date to around 1870-1880.  Harding Book Two illustrates this impressive pair on page 239.  

Tiger and lion

April 2023

This is a rare figure of a tiger and lion lying in front of a palm tree.  Circus acts with wild animals became very popular in England during the 1830s and it is possible that this figure as well as other animal figures commemorated these events. 

Lady Godiva

March 2023

This is a rare figure portraying Lady Godiva seated sidesaddle on horseback.  The figure is titled “Lady Godiva” and is decorated in the manner of the Parr factory, with soft yellow, green, and brown brushstrokes.

Lost Piece

February 2023

This is an early Staffordshire figure of a woman standing on a grassy pedestal, with a coin in her extended hand.  The figure is titled “Lost Piece” and represents the biblical verses found in Luke 15:8-10.

William Shakespeare

January 2023

This is a gilt script titled figure of William Shakespeare with his right arm resting on a book atop a pedestal.  Next to the pedestal is a sloped watch holder with a clock face painted inside, sitting atop a tree decorated with grapes.


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.