A-Z of Staffordshire Dogs: A Potted History
In the 18th century, artists and potters were not slow to reflect in models the interest of the time in identifying and selectively breeding individual types of dog, and continental and home-based factories started to produce realistic examples of both sporting and pampered dogs. Following Landseer's painting of 1836 of Queen Victoria's favourite dog, the King Charles Spaniel Dash, the potters of Staffordshire were not slow to seize the opportunity to turn Dash into a national icon. Pairs of spaniels were portrayed in clay in enormous quantities, followed soon after by many other breeds. The modellers are usually anonymous, but the simple hand-painted decoration, often done by children, gives each piece an individuality and vitality, and as Clive Mason Pope's charming book shows, these dogs have an enduring quality that makes them as endearing today as they were when first made.
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