This set of two Staffordshire Spaniel Mantle Dogs ceramic figurines was manufactured by the English Beswick manufacture during the 1960s. The catalogue number 1378-4. The figurines are made of high-quality hand-painted ceramics. Decorated with a gold chain, medallion and a cream white robe. Usually placed on fireplaces in 19th century mansions. In Scotland, these were commonly referred to as Wally dugs. The Staffordshire spaniel was the quintessential Victorian bourgeois ornament and a status symbol. No fireplace was complete without a pair of spaniels standing guard. Staffordshire dogs are now collector’s objects. The quality of modeling and painting the figures may vary. Many copies have been produced, but originals in good condition and in the right pairs are now rare. Victorian tales describe the usefulness of placing Staffordshire spaniel figures on window sills. One story tells that a woman may have placed figures on her front window. If the spaniels were facing away from each other, her husband was at home. If he was far away, the dogs would face each other. As her lover walked past the house, he would have known if it was safe to visit her without her husband knowing.
John Beswick, formerly J. W. Beswick, was a pottery producer from 1894 based at the Gold Street Works in Longton. Initially, tableware and ornaments, such as the Staffordshire cats and dogs, were produced. In 1934, high-fired bone china was introduced. This meant that they could produce high-quality action figures such as the famous racehorses and champion dogs. In 1969, Beswick was sold to Doulton & Co. and although animal figurines were still produced until 1989, the Beswick stamp was removed in favor of Royal Doulton Royal Albert DA.
This set is in original vintage condition.