Bring back the Staffordshire hound

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I want to talk a little bit about one of my interior passions, the quintessential Victorian status symbol- the Staffordshire hound. I first came across these delightful little dogs in front of the gas fire of my Great Aunt Olive’s home. I was lucky enough to inherit these dogs and they now sit proudly in the dining room of my home in Muswell Hill.
Popular in the 19th century for me the Staffordshire spaniel captures the essence of quirky, inquisitive, decorative Victoriana. Traditionally they came as matching pairs, facing one another, and were generally placed on the mantelpiece or on the windowsill of Victorian homes. Made in Staffordshire potteries, they were also known as firedogs or hearth dogs.

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They came in an array of breeds, such as pugs, afghans, greyhounds, collies, poodles, and Dalmatians, although the King Charles Spaniel remained the most popular.

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Most dogs are in a sitting pose with a chain and lock around their neck, but as each dog was hand painted they all have their own quirks and facial expressions.

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Such is my love for these dogs that I recently started a project customising some of these fabulous hounds. I have painted some in bright cobalt blue, colour blocked some with florescent paint, others are gold, copper or have graffiti flowers etched on them.

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I say bring back Staffordshire hounds into the modern home. Some may become available to buy on my website soon.

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