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Antique Staffordshire Castle with Double Spill Vase

Antique Staffordshire Castle with Double Spill Vase

$225.00

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 pieces were produced by the Staffordshire potteries to imitate the much more expensive Meissen and Nymphenburg figurines being produced on the continent of Europe and found in the homes of the upper-class.

In the pottery factories of Victoria 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, members of the royal family, everyday folk, country cottages or regal castles, 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 castle with double spill vase chimneys. The piece was intended to be displayed on a fireplace mantel and was designed with a thin profile and relatively flat back which was left undecorated. 

Using a whimsical palette of fresh greens, pale blues and bright oranges, the castle is hand-painted with a clock tower at center. A little bird is perched on the top of the clock tower and two long-haired sheep are at the bottom of the center stairs. Rising above the structure at both ends are chimneys that are designed to hold spills for lighting candles using the flame from the fireplace.

Capturing the beauty of Victorian England, this castle is sure to be a charming 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 1850s. In very good antique condition with only minimal paint loss as is common in antique Staffordshire. 8.5"H x 7.5" x 2.5".

Learn More About Spill Vases

A spill vase is a small cylindrical vase designed to hold wood splints, spills, and tapers for transferring fire. Spills are made of tightly rolled paper tapers or very thin wood sticks. Spill vases date back to the 15th century, though the heyday of these specially made vases was the Victorian era. 

The spill vases were typically kept on the fireplace mantel and were filled with spills to transfer fire from the fireplace to candles, lamps, a pipe or cigar. Although commercial matches first appeared in England in the 1820s, they were relatively expensive until the late 19th century, and spill was therefore a more cost effective option.

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