Figure of the month

Dudson Mower and Mate figure

December 2019

This pair of figures belongs to Alan Sturrock. Thanks to a “my staffordshire figures” blog by Myrna Schkolne we are confident in attributing them to the Dudson factory. Dudson used several distinctive bocage forms that are very useful in identifying their figures, but these figures lack typical bocages. Instead, look at the x-shaped sprig on the Mate base. That x-sprig is specific to Dudson. When such a sprig is used it is akin to a Dudson signature. The Mower base also has x-sprigs on it but they are partial; they most likely broke as they were formed. Pictured below is an enlarged view of the x-sprig… it really is quite distinctive. 

​​The Dudson pot bank has operated as a family business from its foundation to the present day. In 1800, Richard Dudson established his first works at Broad Street, Shelton, and by 1830 Dudson was a specialist figure manufactory, although contemporary trade directories fail to list it as such.

Dudson’s establishment coincides with the closure of Ralph Wood’s pot bank. Wood died in 1795, but his son, Ralph Wood III, operated the pot bank until his own premature death in 1801. We repeatedly see Dudson figures formed just like Ralph Wood figures. It is possible that Dudson simply copied the Ralph Wood figures, but it is more likely that Dudson acquired some of the Ralph Wood moulds.

More Figures of the month

King of Sardinia

November 2022

This is a rare figure of Victor Emmanuel II, the King of Sardinia and later the first King of Italy.  The figure is titled with gold accented raised capitals, stands approximately 12 3/4” tall, and dates to about 1855.  It is probably a Crimean war figure, with Emmanuel being shown in military uniform. 

Bluebeard and Fatima

October 2022

This is a rare figure of Bluebeard and Fatima, approximately 12 1/2” tall, dating to 1858. Bluebeard is easily recognized with his blue beard. He stands upright with a knife in his right hand and left hand on his hip. Fatima is kneeling before Bluebeard with eyes cast upward toward him, hands folded in a prayer-like position.

Napoleon Bonaparte

September 2022

This is a very rare figure of Napoleon Bonaparte, approximately 8 ¼” tall, dating to about 1840.  He stands with arms crossed next to a pedestal with a cloak draped over it.  The base is decorated with an interesting marble effect, and it bears the title “N”. 

Fox and monkey

August 2022

What an interesting figure of a fox and monkey, 4 3/4” tall.  The figure is rare and probably represents one of Aesop’s Fables called “The Fox and the Monkey”. 

It is circa 1840, partially painted in the round, and has a solid base. 

Unidentified man and woman

July 2022

This is an interesting figure of a man and a woman, 7 ½” tall.  It would be unremarkable if not for the head peering out from behind the man’s left leg. 

Titania

June 2022

This is a very rare figure of a woman in full length dress and a floral headband, standing 8 ½” tall.  She holds a wand in her right hand and a posy in her left. 

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