1 February 19: The story of Staffordshire dogs

I love ceramic Staffordshire dogs.

Dating back to the 1720s, there are all manner of stories relating to them. Apparently the delicate gold chains (like the one on my friend Sarah’s dogs, top left) were apparently painted by children as young as seven who were paid two shillings a week for their work (not great but definitely a sign of the times back then). Another story has it that these dogs – often adorned with patches of copper lustre – would be placed facing each other in a window if a husband was at home and back-to-back if he was away (and the coast was clear for her lover to come inside). Imagine the secrets those dogs could tell…

Martha, The Colour File x

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