This rare and charming pair of fantail doves was made by George Ash in Shelton or Hanley, Staffordshire. He registered the design on Dec. 20, 1869. He called them "posy-holders", but they could also be used for candles.
There is a slight variation in height, almost as if one is meant to be male and the other female. One is 4-1/4" (11 cm) tall, and the other 4-1/8" (10.5 cm) tall. The fantail is 8.5 cm wide.
George Ash is listed as a potter from 1865-1882, but is very obscure. If you google the name, you will find very little about him. In fact, in the book mentioned below, it is stated "no marked specimens have been recorded". These two pieces are marked only with the British Registry Diamond which is filled in with glaze and illegible.
Fortunately, two of his pieces were identified and photographed for the book "Staffordshire Porcelain", edited by Geoffrey Godden. One is shown on page 379, and a single dove flower-holder is on page 519.
Both doves are in excellent condition. Even the applied flowers in blue are undamaged. The only flaw I see is a small shallow glaze chip affecting the blue border on the base of one dove.
The price listed is for the pair.
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