Poodles actually originated as sporting dogs called “Pudlehunds” in Germany for their ability to retrieve even in cold water. They eventually came over to England, where their good temperaments, sporting skills and other qualities made them very popular. I was surprise to learn that it was the English, and not the French, who went mad with using clippers on them to create the “foo-foo” look. In any case, the porcelain factories did not get around to creating models of them until the 1820s. Many of these factories created their pretty poodles to sell along with their dish sets and other household items.
Porcelain animals, especially dogs, were popular cabinet pieces. This charming example of a poodle standing on a gold tasseled base and with a basket of flowers in its mouth, appeared from around 1830 to 1850. As a great number of factories produced poodles, styles were often “borrowed” from one another. One of these firms known for producing the type of curled poodle hair such as on this piece was Dudson.
Although Staffordshire poodles in a standing position with a basket of colored flowers in their mouths were made by many of the potteries, it is still difficult to find one in as good condition as in this example. In Dennis Rice’s book, “Dogs in English Porcelain of the 19th Century,” the model most closely resembling this piece appears in color plate 92 on page 66.
Our poodle has a large mane and a large poof at the end of his tail, with similar poofs above his feet. The base was cleverly modeled to look like a large pink-topped cushion with gold tassels covering each corner. The basket in the dog’s mouth is a deep terracotta red with green leaves on the top.
There is a lot of porcelain to the clay, which makes for much finer modeling of the separate legs and the handsome appearance.
It is in excellent condition, especially considering its age. The pink painted cushion top under the glaze is still bright and pretty. The dark terracotta red basket has amazingly retained its deep rich color. The green showing from the top is still a deep rich tone. Even the large gilt tassels retain nearly all their gilding. There is some light crazing on the top of the stand/cushion.
It measures 3-1/4 inches high, 3-1/4 inches wide and 2-1/4 deep.
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