This pair of late 19th century cast iron figural doorstops have been made in the form of English cartoon characters Alexander "Ally" Sloper and his wife. Ally was introduced to readers in 1867 and appeared in print regularly until 1916. He was "a Victorian ne'er-do-well with a good heart and a life of misadventure", recognized for his less than desirable personality traits which included laziness and sneakiness. These characteristics gave rise to the name “ally sloper” due to Ally's ability to "slope off" down an ally or elsewhere in order to dodge work or avoid other responsibilities.
Ally has been depicted attired in a bowtie and tails along with his ubiquitous battered top hat. He holds an umbrella in his left hand and stands with his face in profile, emphasizing the shape and size of his bulbous nose. His canine companion is seated next to him, and regards the viewer with his head cocked quizzically to the side.
Ally's beleaguered wife has been depicted in a long dress with a ruffled cap on her head. Her face is turned towards her husband while two of their five children - The Terrible Twins - are balanced on either hip. She also has a small dog sitting at her side whose head is angled in the opposite direction from Ally's pet.
The doorstops are in good condition with no breaks or repairs. As antiques, the pieces show appropriate signs of age which include nearly complete paint loss and areas of rust/discoloration. The Ally doorstop is illegibly marked on the back of his right leg with faint numbers which appear to read "882".
Ally stands 11.375" tall and measures 6.25" wide by 1.75" at his deepest point. Mrs Sloper is 11" tall, 6.25" wide and 1.75" at her deepest point. The set has a combined weight of 6lbs 4oz.
This charming matched pair of doorstops display very well and are sure to add a whimsical touch wherever they are displayed. The pieces do not stand on their own and work best propped up against doors, or can also be showcased on a mantel or shelf. A fun antique find!
Vintage English Figural Cast Iron Doorstops Mr. & Mrs. Ally Sloper