I am exceedingly proud in being able to offer this rare and wonderful example. In the course of my thirty-plus years in antiques, I have never, until now, seen a model of this piece of Scottish pottery in person. In fact, I’ve only seen such pieces a few times in magazines that feature British country homes, and one other place: in the iconic reference book “A-Z of Staffordshire Dogs—A Potted History,” by Clive Mason Pope.
This is how Mr. Pope explains why the examples he shows (figures 12 and 13) are listed under the chapter entitled, “Star Quality”:
“The Great Exhibition (in London) opened its doors in May 1851. The huge glass and iron-framed building erected in Hyde Park to house all the exhibits, was immediately christened the Crystal Palace. It celebrated the dawn of a new golden age of growing material prosperity, brought about by a high level of industrial production and expanding foreign trade. The exhibiting manufacturers, large and small, were encouraged to show their superiority in art, design and manufacture, to the world. They were making every effort to be noticed (then as now”) against increasing competition and introduced new especially designed large impressive examples of their particular medium. This very noticeable pair of Spaniels would certainly fit the criterion.”
Part of his description also makes particular note of the “remarkable colour splashed bases.” (Mr. Pope’s dogs are listed at 16-1/2 inches in height. My model is ½ inch taller.)
When corresponding with my customers, I admit to occasionally using a certain expression regarding very special pieces; that is, that these particular pieces are “to die for.” In this case I will say with the full force of my experience that this is truly a “to die for’’ piece of Scottish pottery. The coloring is spectacular, with nuances in the shades of brown, which is why treacle glazed pottery is so sought after. The “dripping” look gives it an artistic finish, especially after the modeling of the fur, which has many indentations and furrows where the glaze has coagulated in various thicknesses.
The face is beautifully formed and painted. Our spaniel has a wonderful expression, as if he knows he is of regal origin and is fabulous. He is sitting on a large oval raised plinth which acts as an impressive base, suitable for this impressive dog. The base is decorated with splashes of cobalt blue, jade green and ochre, all blending together over a creamy light gold color.
It is modeled in the round, meaning that you can enjoy this dog on a center table to which you have access on all sides to its splendor. If the modeling, glazing and artistic decoration of the base is not enough for you, then just step back and enjoy the impressive size and scale of this piece.
The quality is just wonderful and the condition is excellent for its age and type. The lustrous thick glaze has protected it from paint loss. However, there are a several small old chips on the base that have aged dark, as well as a few minute losses of glaze on the dog’s tail. There are a few small kiln effects on the fur, but these are not easily noticed due to the treacle glaze. There also is an old rounded age crack on the base. I have left these so as not to destroy the originality of this exceptionally rare piece of pottery. I don’t think they detract in any way from the unique presence and decorative statement that this pottery dog makes.
I have had a special wooden crate made for this dog which brought it safely here from overseas. When shipped, it will be repacked in this crate to make the journey to your home.
This fine example of the potter’s art from 165 years ago stands 17 inches high. The base of the plinth is a massive 12-1/4 inches wide and 9-1/4 inches deep.
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