a Staffordshire figure of the notorious highwayman tom king.
height ... 230mm
Staffordshire pottery figures epitomise British folk art. this piece goes one step further and carries a tinker made metal staple repair.
not only is this a good example of a Staffordshire flat back figure of tom king which would have adorned the mantlepiece of many an aspiring victorian household it carries a very old and at the time costly metal staple repair. the repair gives the figure an even more charming appeal, the figure has its own personality, the repair gives us an insight into its history and the importance and value the owner held for it.
Tom King is mainly famous for his association with the notorious highwayman Dick Turpin. tom King was well known throughout the country, not only for skulduggery on the highway but also for his gentleman's dashing attire. tom and dicks first crime together was to steal a racehorse. according to legend, the two hid out in a cave in Epping Forest and pursued a successful partnership on the wrong side of the law. from then on tom kings career turned from one of a petty criminal to that of a romantic highwayman. On 2 May 1737, during a robbery that went wrong, King was accidentally shot by Turpin, and he died of his wounds on 19 May 1737, aged about 25. He was buried at St James' churchyard in Clerkenwell on 21 May 1737. In his will, King bequeathed the entirety of his effects to his "loving wife, Elizabeth King."