While I was in New York last week, I wandered down Second Avenue to the Manhattan Antiques Center, just in case a piece of Staffordshire might be lurking. As this center is better known for its jewelry and rather glitzy decorative objects, this was a long shot....and it was a yucky, soggy morning. But I couldn't help myself. I just had to go and look. For once, luck was with me, and I found this little pair of dandies marked SALT. As I had not hitherto recorded a pair of Salt dandies of any size, I was thrilled with my find, and I bought them.
Hoffman Gampetro, the gallery where I bought my dandies, had a number of pearlware figures in stock, and I enjoyed talking with the gallery owner, Ron, who took a very real interest in these lovely objects. Among the items of interest was a pearlware bust of a cherub's head, a very fine Ralph Wood satyr cup, and this uncommon Ralph Wood figure of St. John. Look at the size of St. John's hand. No wonder, old time collectors frequently note that Ralph Wood figures tend to have large hands.
Also in stock was this little chariot decorated in under glaze colors that suggest manufacture in northeast England or Yorkshire.
And Ron had a figure of Melpomene, the Muse of Tragedy. Very dramatic, is she not?
Of course, I had not expected to find anything in the Manhattan Antiques Center, so I did not have my magnifying glasses required to help me detect overpainting...and I thought the Salt dandies just might have some. Absolutely not, said Ron. I murmured that you really only know if you try to strip off the paint. Undaunted, Ron picked up the phone and asked the building janitor to bring up some Q-tips and acetone! It doesn't end here....I am SUCH a pain that I HAD to say that paint stripper was really needed, whereupon long-suffering Ron again picked up the phone again and asked the janitor for heavy duty stripper. Within minutes it all arrived, and the figure passed the test. How many dealers are prepared to stand behind their stock to that degree? If you are in Manhattan, pop in and see if Ron has anything you might like. And its good to know that you can buy with confidence!
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