Royale Stratford Dog Pitcher Staffordshire England

This example is a reproduction figural pitcher in the shape of a dog. Copies made of antique Staffordshire figurines, pitchers or Toby mugs often are fairly faithful copies of 19th century originals because a 20th century piece may be cast from an original old mold, or from a new mold taken directly from an authentically old article. If the surface is then also specially 'antiqued' at the factory to give the visual aura of an 18th century antique, new pottery made in the image of old Staffordshire pieces may be mistaken for antiques.

Copies of figural Staffordshire pottery have been manufactured and sold in large numbers throughout the 20th century, particularly the mid to late 20th century. They are still being made today in China, even though some marks placed on them say 'Staffordshire' in order to suggest manufacture in England. Always keep in mind when viewing a mark that says, 'Staffordshire' that it is an area of the country, not a specific, individual city in England.

Almost all authentic antique Staffordshire figurines were completely unmarked as to maker. Including the name of the country of manufacture, too, would also not have been done on antique examples. Later, many a potter began to proudly add the name of the city where their firm was located in their back stamp, but 'Staffordshire' and 'Staffordshire Ware' are 20th century markings. They are collector specific designations that companies eventually began to take advantage of, incorporating one or the other into their back stamps in order to denote (for truly English-made items) or suggest (for non-English made items) a specific well-known and world-wide desirability for products made in that area.

This particular item was actually made in England by Royale Stratford (Bloor), but not in the early to mid 19th century. This example still has its original sales tag identifying it as part of 'The Rushton Staffordshire Figure Collection.' It is also well marked on the bottom with an applied manufacturer's decal. But, how hard would it be for that type of maker's mark to later be removed and the abraded area explained away as 'damage consistent with age'? The answer is, not very. On items such as this one be suspicious of indications a mark or marks may have been removed.

The differences in substance, manufacturing technique, quality, coloring, and decoration can be dramatic between old and new Staffordshire collectibles, but they can also sometimes be very subtle. As can be the differences in value. This is just another collecting niche in which just a little advance scholarship can really pay off.

Measures 9 1/2 inches tall.

Item ID: 2007RP000379

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