In the early 1800s, feeble improvements in England’s ramshackle educational system coupled with an ever-growing supply of affordable reading matter resulted in the explosive growth of the reading public. Children were not the only new readers; many uneducated adults strove to acquire reading skills.
Homes proudly displayed earthenware figures of people absorbed in books and this proclaimed the family as being amongst the educated class.
This figure is 7.3 inches tall. See Schkolne Staffordshire Figures 1780-1840 Volume 1, page 97, figure 25.42.
More Figures of the month
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.