Antique Collecting Series #3: Staffordshire Dogs
The British LOVE their dogs. Past and present.
The dog was always an important fixture in the British home, either a loyal pet or represented in image. Today, the Brits still love their fancy breeds, but I'll take an adopted mutt anytime.
During Queen Victoria's reign (1841-1892), "Comforter Spaniels" were all the rage (the later monarchy had Welsh Corgis).
These dogs were models of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (the Queen's dogs) molded in pottery, and graced many a mantle in England.
They were made in the Staffordshire district of England during the mid 19th century and came in many shapes, sizes and breeds.
I have always loved dogs (and when I went to photograph the items, I didn't realize how MANY I had, and there's more!), and have collected English antique dog items for years.
Paintings, inkwells, doorstops, letter openers, snuff boxes, cigarette boxes, etc. I ran out of room a long time ago.
Many breeds were founded in Great Britain and had special clubs during the early part of the 19th century.
The Jack Russell Terrier, Bull Mastiff, Pug and King Charles Spaniel seem to have been the favorite of the British upper crust.
Once you start collecting antique dogs, you will find it's addictive.
Dog paintings are my favorite, however, lately they have gotten so pricey, that I don't bother anymore.
I have amassed this collection over the past 30 years, starting out when I was very young. I don't buy anymore, because I have no more room for anything!
If you want to start collecting, my only advice is that you buy from a reputable antiques dealer.
Unfortunately today, many reproductions of Staffordshire dogs and paintings are selling in antique shops, so be wary. The ones from China (stay away from!) aren't even worth $5.00, and the 19th century originals start at about $150. and go up depending on rarity.
One more note:
I don't have a REAL dog right now, and I don't collect cat things. In fact for as much as I love kitties, there is not one cat thing in this house!
What do you collect?