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Antique Staffordshire Dick Turpin Figure

Antique Staffordshire Dick Turpin Figure

$150.00

Middle class Victorians loved a well-accessorized home. There's no denying it and there's no other way to explain the typical Victorian decor: colorful figurines adorned their fireplace mantels, transferware dishes lined plate racks and sideboards in their dining rooms and on every table stood figures, animals, vases, and other ornaments. More was always more for the Victorians - on both sides of the Atlantic.

With the creation of wealth from the Industrial Revolution, the production of Staffordshire figurines exploded in the early 1800s to meet the demand of the middle-class Victorians. The vast majority of these decorative, hand-painted figurines were produced by the Staffordshire potteries to imitate the much more expensive Meissen and Nymphenburg figurines being produced on the continent and found in the homes of the upper-class.

In the pottery factories of Victorian England, the experienced decorators worked on higher-end porcelain, while unskilled laborers (typically women and children), painted the colorful Staffordshire figurines. They were painted quickly and freely and the result is a folk-art quality that adds to their undeniable appeal.

It wasn't until the 20th century that serious collectors began to appreciate the charms of Staffordshire figurines. Whether it's dogs and cats, farm animals, elephants or zebras, politicians of the day, members of the royal family, famous crime figures or everyday folk, there was a Staffordshire figure for any collector's interest.

From the markets of northern England, we are pleased to offer this wonderful antique Staffordshire figurine. The infamous character of Dick Turpin is depicted riding his beloved steed, Black Bess. Similar to a Jesse James character in the United States, Dick Turpin was one of those larger than life figures whose legend contains little resemblance to the actual facts of his, often sordid, life. Dick Turpin was born in 1705 and led a life of crime robbing travelers on horseback along the highways of England. Almost 100 years after Turpin's death by hanging in 1739, his life was immortalized when a novel entitled Rookwood, recounting and glorifying his escapades, was published. The novel was wildly successful and in the public's mind, Dick Turpin the housebreaker, torturer, murderer, would become Dick Turpin "Gentleman of the Road", the Prince of Highwaymen.

This figurine was intended to be displayed on a fireplace mantel and was designed with a flat back which was left undecorated. A handsome and storied addition to any existing collection or the perfect starting point to begin the lifelong joy of collecting!


Strictly one-of-a-kind and subject to prior sale. Circa 1860s. In excellent antique condition. 8.5" tall x 6.5" at its widest point x 2" deep.

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