A wonderful pair of English Staffordshire Gorillas, c1860 in mint condition. Potters all around the Staffordshire made animals of all sorts for decoration not the least of which were gorillas such as these, though these are very difficult to find. And because they were made quite widely, you won't find them identified by a makers mark. What you want to look for is a mold hole either at the bottom of the piece or on the side. These were used to allow air to escape so that the mold wouldn't explode in the kiln--no mold hole, expect the piece to be a reproduction.
As you look further through our collection, you'll see the more popular Staffordshire dogs that were Queen Victoria's beloved King Charles Spaniels. These came in two models: Flat Backs and those decorated "in the round." The flat backs were always found on mantels and had no decoration on the back, some of them were from a series and were numbered on the bottom; those decorated in the round were fully decorated and could be placed on a table and admired in any direction. You'll see examples of both.
"While a limited number of Comforter Spaniels were modeled in the round, the greatest majority fit into a category of Staffordshire figures called "flat backs." Most Spaniels were cast in two-piece molds which included a front section with blocked-in feet and a flat back section designed specifically to be placed against mantle walls. The flat rear area, not designed to be seen, was convenient and safe for display as well as economically advantageous for the potters.
Flat-back surfaces were designed for most Victorian era Staffordshire figures. On these, including the Spaniel figures, the flat areas were simply molded and sparsely decorated." Taken from "Staffordshire Spaniels" by Adele Kenney
Prime Minister Disraeli was a favorite of Queen Victoria's and knowing that was all it took for the potters to start making a dog to mimic the Prime Minister. These dogs have curls on the tops of their heads because that is the way he wore his hair. You'll see a couple of examples of those on our site as well. The rarer dogs have separate legs, they were harder to make and thus they are harder to find. We have a few fon our site for you to see as well.
In the next few weeks we will also have two examples of the elegant greyhounds that were always captured with rabbits at their sides posted to the site.
We invite you to take a look and if you are in need of further information you can always get in touch with us and ask us any questions you may have. Another source is Adele Kenny's book on Staffordshire. It is terrific and has wonderful examples, far beyond anything I have. So take a peek and enjoy and thanks, in advance for looking.