DelightfulDogs first started as a place to share my love of Shaffordshire pottery dogs. Staffordshire pottery dates back to the 1600’s and there are multiple potteries in Staffordshire, England to whom these are attributed. Staffordshire dogs are quite distinct and to some, quite plain. However they favor a view of dogs popular at the time and are often understated. When I first saw a Staffordshire dog, I thought it was rather unattractive. Then, in 1990, I was fortunate enough to visit a New York dealer while looking for another type of collectible, where there was a window display of these dogs in mass. Only when packed together did I begin to perceive their beauty and their subtle differences. They are absolutely lovely when grouped together as a decorating element in a room. A “pack” of Staffordshire dogs of your own can form the theme for a special room in your house.
Over time the detailing changed and Victorian era potters in Staffordshire England engaged in less detailed modeling of the figures. When purchasing such a dog, learn first the variations and what clue this may suggest about purported age. Two similar dogs can look quite different when side by side. Unfortunately, you may not be able to look at them side by side. Therefore, caveat emptor! Study your dogs first in guides such as Collector’s Guide to Staffordshire Pottery Figures, which shows such a side by side comparison.
Rarity is important in all collectible fields. There were many Staffordshire spaniels produced, relatively fewer Staffordshire dalmations. Dalmations were sometimes produced on blue bases.
Poodles were also produced and these, to my eye, make the most beautiful grouping, especially against a color. They are often
quite detailed. Click picture for larger view.
Pugs also were produced, along with pointers, foxhounds, sheepdogs, staghounds, setters, harriers and greyhounds.
Most commonly Staffordshire dogs appear in left/right pairs but sometimes a middle figure was included.
Imitations do occur. On this site’s salt and pepper shaker page, I show imitation Staffordshire Dog shakers. I purchased them new as imitations and enjoy them for the image they evoke. But if you find these today in a flea market, be aware that no authentic salt and pepper shaker Staffordshire dogs are documented. Again, know your collectible and study first. Research prices for authentic dogs here. Whether you collect all examples of a breed, enjoy adding an English look to your home, or just are fascinated by the variety of Staffordshire dog figures, enjoy!