English dogs (standard poodles)

2nd half of the 19th century,
glazed stoneware;
height: 23.7 cm

Known as English dogs, these pieces were among the most popular souvenirs for seafarers of the 19th century.

The ceramic animal figures were used as toys for the offspring of prosperous families until around 1850. They do not become decorative and collectors' items until the second half of the 19th century. Especially companies centred in the county of Staffordshire exploit the vigorous demand and start manufacturing a broad variety of models. Pugs, spaniels and poodles are the most popular.

White, brown/white and black/white figures are predominant. Most of the paints are glazed, before gold lustre (with its typical metallic sheen) is added. The white poodles with melted porcelain granules, used to model the 'haircut', are particularly popular. Unfortunately, many orphanage children are used to paint the pieces. This keeps the price low and ensures vigorous sales in the port cities. From there, the English dogs make their way to the mariners' parlours along the North and Baltic sea coasts. It is a myth that they once stood in the windows of prostitutes in certain harbour districts in England.


Text: D. K.

The exhibit refers to:

Western Pomerania until 1945

Look here for the original exhibit:



Mönchstraße 25-28
18439 Stralsund