Cobalt blue is an indicator of the period between 18, and was widely used.After 1865 cobalt blue was no longer in use; and overglaze enamel colours were used exclusively. By the1870's most figures were produced in white, and a less expensive form of gilding was introduced, which was painted on after firing which made it a much cheaper method of production.I started buying Staffordshire figures when the collecting bug got me after buying three at an auction.
Few Staffordshire figures bear makers marks, although some experts can identify similarities of style that might come from an individual factory (for example, the style of the base may provide a clue).
The new middle classes were eager to emulate their betters by decorating their homes with objects similar to costly Meissen and Chelsea figures, and Staffordshire potters obliged by turning out painted and glazed pottery sheep dogs, cattle and more exotic animals such as zebra and elephants.
Figures of gods and goddesses, examples drawn from literature, famous political and military men and above all, representations of royalty, all found homes in England and America.
Most of the Staffordshire moulds of the 19th C historical and political figures were not produced in later years, so examples are likely to be old and more costly.
If you are interested in collecting these charming pieces, buy from a reputable dealer or study a number of examples before you take the plunge.