Figures impressed NEALE & CO. date from between about 1780 to 1791, this being the period of Neale's involvement in the trade. After Neale's retirement, the same figures continued in production, sometimes marked with an impressed crown above the letter G.The same figures can also be found with no maker's mark.
Clearly we know NEALE & CO figures are 18th century, but other unmarked figures from identical molds may be 18th or 19th century.The 18th century enamel coloring was timeless and so well suited to the figures' delicate modeling that the Wilsons may have retained the pretty palette. The Wilsons probably realized the ideal match between the style and the decoration of these molds and did not tamper with the petite NEALE & CO figures.
Marked Neale figures go beyond the small figures discussed above. Toby jugs decorated in enamel colors and marked NEALE & CO are usually on marbled bases, and Toby customarily has a particularly warty nose. The enamels are brighter than I would expect for the 1780-90 period, but they retain a delicate silkiness--and what do we really know anyway?
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