Sand and Beesums
The Victorian potter was good at making models of all kinds… royalty, politicians, criminals and animals, and also models depicting scenes of every day life. The figures entitled “Sand” and “Beesums” are just such models and show travelling salespeople who would probably go from town to town and village to village selling sand and beesums to the peasant or worker’s wife. Nearly all houses in Victorian times would have had hard floors of either earth, stone flags or wood. These floors may have been dressed with sawdust or straw. The floors got very dirty and soiled so the housewife would have scattered sand on the grimy surface to help abrase the dirt and then bush it away with a broom called a beesum.
More Figures of the month
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.
Children on Saint Bernard dogs
This is a very rare pair of children seated sideways on Saint Bernards. More common figures have the children laying down or seated facing forward. Others have the rear arms moulded into the figures, instead of being separately moulded as these are. These figures are approximately 10” tall and date to around 1840-1850.