By the 18th century, Bo’ness, several miles outside of Edinburgh on the River Forth, had developed into a thriving industrial town. Its first pottery factory was built in 1766 and it soon became known as one of the main pottery producing areas in the country. However, the potteries ended the 19th century plagued by financial problems, fires, and worker strikes. The half-dozen pottery factories have now disappeared, the last in 1958, and the town is now best known as a commuter suburb and for its giant petrochemical plant. However, in the last part of the 19th century, the Bo’ness works were in part known for creating pottery animals for chimney mantels, such as this pair of dogs, that were favored by homemakers in the growing middle class.
These collies were modeled sitting upright with their large, furry tails curled over their backs and haunches. They are full figured models and painted on both sides so they can be enjoyed all around. They have serene, intelligent countenances, as can be seen in the breed itself. The pair dates to around 1890.
The dogs were taken out of their molds early on as their fur, on both backs and fronts, are well detailed. The faces were, of course, hand-painted and show good expression. Their gold chains have lockets.
The condition of both is excellent for their age and type. Not only do these dogs have their original glass eyes but also their original gilding. There is some expected wear to the gilt on the chains from handling over the years. There is also some slight glaze and/or paint loss in a few places. Considering that they are some 130 years old, their condition is amazing. They are truly quality Bo-ness pottery dogs.
Each measures about 14-5/8 inches high and 8 inches wide at the base.
Pair of Bo’ness Pottery Collie Dogs