John Howard
The Antique English Pottery Specialist
Heritage, 6 Market Place, Woodstock, OX20 1TA | +44 (0)1993 812580 | +44 (0)7831 850544
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Victorian Staffordshire Figures

C1840- 1890

The 19th century saw a massive expansion of the population in Britain a country at the height of its power due to the impact of the industrial revolution and successful military and naval campaigns.

The demand for decorative and functional ceramics was supplied in the main by hundreds of factories in the Staffordshire area and at other major locations such as Portobello and Glasgow in Scotland, Yorkshire, South Wales at Swansea and Llanelli, North East England in Newcastle on Tyne and Sunderland and other provincial factories dotted around the UK.

Our main specialisation from this period is Staffordshire and Scottish animal figure groups. The iconic Staffordshire pottery spaniel has been produced in there thousands and we stock the very rarest and best examples ever produced especially the rarer canine figures of other breeds. We also specialise in the best examples of animal figures such as rabbits, leopards, lions and exotic birds.

Victorian Staffordshire figures are perhaps the most copied and reproduced today. The most frequent question we are encountered with is “ how can you tell a modern copy from an original Victorian example”.


  1. Colours used. Antique Staffordshire pottery has a fairly standard range of colours and it one should familiarise colours from authentic pieces. Beware of “wishy-washy”colours and, paradoxically; beware of extra bright colours also.
  2. Look at the material the item is made from, numerous figures are reproduced in a porcelain body when in fact the original was made in pottery. Many of the copies on the market today are made in China and are made with a crude porcelain body.
  3. If there is extensive crazing and staining it often denotes a modern piece. Antique examples do not usually have extensive crackleure.
  4. Some blue blotches (cobalt) in a thick lustrous glaze (lead) are usually a good sign.
  5. A chalky feel to the base, particularly to the rim is a bad sign and often denotes items produced in the 1960/70’s
  6. If the item is exceptionally heavy or light in weight it could signal the item is a copy. This is a judgement, which can be made after handling authentic antique pieces.
  7. Reproductions made from a mould from an original piece will be about 10% smaller than the original. (This is due to shrinkage in the firing process).
  8. Most figures dating from 1840 to 1880 are made by pressing two moulds together and this can be confirmed by the presence of a seam down the side of the item. Later items were made from a slip cast process (a modern technique) and there will be no seam join as these modern examples are made in one single form.
  9. A marked piece stating ”Made in England”, Genuine Staffordshire”,”Ye Olde Staffordshire” relate to items made in the 20th century.
  10. The gilt decoration applied to antique Victorian piece pre 1870 has a soft and realistic gold look. Later copies from the late 19th century to the present day have a harsh almost chromium look to the gilding.

Antique Staffordshire figures of spaniels standing on pink and green bases known...

Reference: 2146

Antique Staffordshire figures of spaniels standing on pink and green bases known as Grace and Majesty c1855. This rare model is the smaller and prettier version.

Dimensions: 7.50 inch high

Price: gbp 3350.00 (Pound Sterling)
USD 5728.5 (US Dollars)

Massive scale Staffordshire pottery hen on nest circa 1875

Reference: 2124

A massive Staffordshire pottery covered tureen in the figure of a hen seated on a basket type nest. This is the largest hen on nest produced by the Staffordshire potters, the scale has to be seen to be believed. Very few pieces were produced o...

Dimensions: 14 inch high 15.50 inch wide

Price: gbp 3850.00 (Pound Sterling)
USD 6583.5 (US Dollars)

Antique English porcelain figure group of cat and kittem Alcock and co.Staffords...

Reference: 2046

Antique porcelain figure group of a cat and kitten seated on a yellow base with a best gold line. The work of the Samuel Alcock Factory based in Staffordshire circa 1840.

Dimensions: 2.75 inch high

Price: gbp 685.00 (Pound Sterling)
USD 1171.35 (US Dollars)

Antique Staffordshire pottery pair figures of seated cats Victorian period mid 1...

Reference: 1907

Antique Staffordshire pottery pair figures of seated cats Victorian period mid 19th century. The figures are naively modelled and decorated which only adds to the charm of this rather perky looking couple. Such figures are increasingly rare as are...

Dimensions: 8.50 inch high

Price: gbp 1600.00 (Pound Sterling)
USD 2736 (US Dollars)

Faience pottery model of a playful cat mid 19th century probably French.

Reference: 1820

A rare and rather appealing pottery model of a playful cat. The figure is decorated in manganese colour on a white ground in faience tin glaze.

Dimensions: 8 inch wide

Price: gbp 1150.00 (Pound Sterling)
USD 1966.5 (US Dollars)

Antique Staffordshire figures of standing dogs early Victorian period

Reference: 1177

A charming and appealing pair of Staffordshire figures of dogs modelled standing on bases. These figures have a pert expressive presence of character.

Dimensions: 3 inch high

Price: gbp 785.00 (Pound Sterling)
USD 1342.35 (US Dollars)

© 2014 Antique Pottery of John Howard @ Heritage, Woodstock, UK