I've said before that when I first touch a figure, I immediately flip it over to look at the pot beneath. It tells me so much. This time, just the picture on eBay had me suspicious. The Staffordshire figure was clearly a "Sherratt" style Widow, customarily paired with Elijah. Shown on the left, this figure is routinely found on a "Sherratt" type mound or table base. The Widow on the right is on just such a base. Note it is formed like the one on the left--and then it has been placed atop a brown table base. (Enlarge figures by clicking on images.)
Anything is possible, and our widow on the left could just have been made without an added base structure. After all, it looks quite pretty as is. But turning the figure over will reveal all.
Can you see the unglazed interior and the rough gray area around the rim? Once upon a time, the eBay figure was attached to a base along that rim. And today this tells us that this widow is missing much more than her man! Truth be told, she seems to have lost her child too. And the sticks in her hand have been replaced by a cup.....all of which point to the importance of using caution when buying.
Amusingly, the eBay seller's name is "worth-a-bid." Good marketing. So far, this tragic lady has four bids!
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