One of the many things we don't know about figures is how they were marketed and sold. It would be nice to know who bought them, but it would also be great to know what they bought. Were Elijah and the Widow always sold as a pair, or could you buy them individually? What of the Seasons and Elements? Could you buy just one? I suspect that you could buy one of most things, but there were figures that you of course would only want as a pair. I think the potters were savvy enough to cater to all tastes....and for that reason I believe that mix and match was the order of the day. If you wanted to buy Spring, but not Winter, Summer, or Autumn that was just fine.
As I devour the pictures some of you have been sending me this week (thank you), I am struck by how very many figures that I had thought of as singles can actually be paired. They look fine as singles, but at the point of purchase you probably could have bought a pair. For example, we never think of dandies as figure pairs. Two figures on a base seem to be a pair unto themselves, but very many of the dandy models do indeed have another "side."
My current pairing dilemma centers around these two small figures.