Victorian Staffordshire Pottery Religious Figures Stories on the Mantelpiece

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2017-12-30
  • Publisher: Acc Art Books

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


  • The first title to describe Victorian religious figures in the context of their times
  • A comprehensive illustrated catalog of well over 200 figures with an assessment of their dating and rarity
  • Individual descriptions of the figures in their biblical or historic settings

A multitude of colourful and na´ve biblical and other religious pottery figures found their way into 19th century Victorian homes in Britain. They were bought by tradesmen, shop-keepers, clerks, teachers and the more skilled working class people. This book tells the story of these Staffordshire pottery figures, which sold in their thousands to stand on the mantelpieces of Christian families, both Protestant and Catholic.

Three chapters provide a social history context: the religious background, an assessment of who purchased the figures, the Victorian home and how it was furnished. The final four chapters review the pottery figures themselves, which are based on the Old Testament, the New Testament, relevant religious themes and portraits of preachers. A catalogue of well over 200 figures in full colour with an assessment of their dating and rarity completes the book.

This is the first comprehensive record of Victorian religious figures placed in the context of their times.

Author Biography

Stephen Duckworth has been collecting Victorian Staffordshire pottery religious figures for 40 years. In Britain, he is a member of the English Ceramic Circle (ECC) and Northern Ceramic Society. He has given papers on religious figures and on preacher ceramics published in the ECC Transactions 2012 and 2013.

Stephen has had a long association with the Staffordshire Figure Association in the USA. He speaks regularly at its annual meetings, and to other heritage, ceramic and religious groups. He has researched at depth in the British Library, and taken part in a University of London Birkbeck College course on Victorian Homes.

He has lived in West London for 50 years.The Staffordshire pottery dealers who traded in nearby Portobello Road and Kensington Church Street were his mentors for early purchases.

The founder of Methodism, John Wesley, is commemorated by far more pottery figures than any other religious celebrity. Stephen Duckworth started his collection with figures of Wesley. As a lifelong Methodist he is now a trustee of one of the UK's major heritage sites, John Wesley's Chapel, the New Room in Bristol - the oldest Methodist chapel in the world.

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