There is plentiful of Staffordshire pottery to choose from when starting your collection, including popular flatback figures. Below our interior designer and expert dealer offer their advice.
Antique dealers have a variety of tips when it comes to beginning your collection of Staffordshire Pottery.
1. Look for the colours used. Staffordshire potteries used a standardised variety of colours. Muted colours and very bright colours were avoided.
2. When it comes to Staffordshire figurines there are a number of things to look out for to steer clear of fakes, original figurines were usually made from pottery and later reproduced in porcelain. Extensive staining and a chalky base is a sign of a reproduction, nor should it be too heavy or light.
3. Try to handle as many authentic pieces of Antique Staffordshire pottery as possible this will help you decipher between reproductions and fake pieces.
Alan Miller from Applecross Antiques is a specialist in a number of antique ceramics, his collection is available on the loveantiques.com website, he suggests the following:
4. Always pick the very best you can afford when it comes to collecting, he suggests that if you buy in bulk at auction you should ‘keep the best and sell the rest’. This ensures you always have the best collection possible of Staffordshire potteries.
5. If items have been restored or repaired, make sure they have been carried out to a very high standard otherwise it may deplete the value of your piece.
Interior Designer Advice
Our in house interior designer, Lizzie Greenaway, believes Staffordshire ceramics offer an array of design inspiration for the home, she offers her advice below.
1. There is no need to stay on the route of tiresome tradition when incorporating Staffordshire pottery into your home, ceramics are often associated with china display cabinets and kitchens, but attractive antique Staffordshire pottery can be placed throughout the home.
2. Staffordshire ceramics are in a sense the perfect collectable, they are not only functional but the amount of variety is so vast it will fit with any interior design style, as well as any budget.
3. Blue Ware ceramics are one of the most versatile ceramics to collect, and Staffordshire potteries have plenty of this design. The beauty of Blue Ware pottery is that it fits well with any colour scheme.
4. When purchasing Staffordshire Pottery pick pieces that are personal to you, it is more important to purchase antique Staffordshire ceramics you really love rather than what is considered valuable; you want to appreciate items in your home rather than have them there just for monetary value.
5. Be innovative with your Staffordshire pottery. For example, an antique Spode teapot would make for a lovely make shift vase, or look pretty simply displayed in a cabinet.
Extra Considerations when purchasing Staffordshire Potteries
It is possible to wire valuable antique ceramics down or fix them securely to tables and walls, without damaging them and affecting their value, this means that they will not run the risk of been knocked or broken. Many Staffordshire ceramics will feature a knot mark, which consists of a three-loop knot, this will help to identify whether the piece is genuine or not.
Ceramics are both beautiful and durable, the fact they stand the test of time, which means they have a limited environmental impact. As it is derived from the earth the material used to create it is also 100% natural. Ceramics are less likely to be damaged by water so it is far better than plastic or paper for example, purchasing antique ceramics is the perfect way to reuse and recycle items that may otherwise be disposed of.
Valuing Staffordshire Potteries
When valuing Staffordshire ceramics there are a number of considerations that will affect their value. Firstly, the age of the piece, you can determine the age by looking at a number of factors, including the technique and colour used. The underglaze cobalt blue in antique Staffordshire ceramics were only applied after around 1830, before this colours were unable to stand the high temperatures that were used in their glazing kilns. Only overglazed ceramics were made before this period, generally cobalt blue was the main colour used between 1840 and 1865. After 1865 the practice of underglazed cobalt blue was largely redundant, with overglazed enamel colour becoming prominent again, over time the use of the colour died out.
Always use a reputable, trusted courier when transporting valuable antique items. It is important to ensure that they are adequately and securely packed to ensure their safe transit. It is always wise to purchase insurance for your valuable antique ceramics before delivery so in the unlikely event they are damaged you will be compensated for your loss.
Cleaning Staffordshire figurines is a simple process, if it is slightly grubby place it in a small bowl of warm, soapy water and use a toothbrush to clean the intricate crevices of the piece. It is important to avoid harsh cleaning products and be gentle in your handling, as to avoid damaging the item.
First Image: www.loveantiques.com/antique-ceramics/dinner-service/mid-19th-century-staffordshire-part-dinner-service-31250
Second Images (image to left): www.loveantiques.com/antique-ceramics/figurines/pair-of-antique-english-victorian-staffordshire-pottery-figures-~-children-with-donkeys-~-h-a2376a-~-h-a2376b-23908
Second Image (image to right): www.loveantiques.com/antique-ceramics/figurines/pair-of-antique-english-victorian-staffordshire-pottery-portrait-figures-~-moody-~-p-d9-~-h-59-and-sankey-~-p-d10-~-h-84-41670