Clocks were expensive and therefore only found in the homes of the better off in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. However, the master of the house generally had pocket watches and the Staffordshire potters were quick to latch onto a way of selling their wares by producing watch holders of all types. This is an early nineteenth century example with typical early decoration in prattware colours. The figures to the side of the clock are in classical dress which epitomises the fashion of the time.
The master of the house would return home in the evening from wherever he had been during the day, detach his watch from its Albert chain and place it in the watch stand so it gave the household a timepiece they could use during the time he was at home. This particular piece is interesting as it has two holes in the base so that the watch stand could be screwed to the overmantel or shelf where it stood, so it was secure and could not be accidentally be knocked over or broken.
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.