Staffordshire Pottery Houses in a major art museum

Would you like to own one of the artworks in the Art Institute’s collection for $51? This 1830 Money Bank is in the official collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.

"Money Bank" c. 1830, England, Staffordshire from artic 1980.539
Money Bank” c. 1830, England, Staffordshire

This same Money Bank is available on Etsy for $51.

Screenshot of Staffordshire Pottery House Moneybox being sold by 9HarbourRoad for $51

Imagine that. Having a museum piece for $51. This Etsy version looks pretty identical to the museum version. Maybe I’m showing my ignorance of Staffordshire Pottery Houses.

However, the Etsy seller estimates the year as circa 1890. The Art Institute estimates theirs at circa 1830. Perhaps these Staffordshire Pottery Houses were a product made over the course of decades. This 1830 version could be one of the first? Whereas the version on Etsy is from sixty years later.

We need an Antiques Roadshow expert to look at this Etsy version. Did the seller just goof on their date? Is it instead really from 1830?

It’s so quirky that the Art Institute of Chicago has this item in their collection. This 1830 Money Bank was donated to the Art Institute of Chicago by Marie Wright in 1980. Did she donate other artworks to the museum?

MoreStaffordshire Pottery Houses in the Art Institute of Chicago collection

Let’s do a google image search for: “Marie Wright” A total of six sculptures come up. All in the same vein.

"Incense Burner" England, Staffordshire c. 1830 from artic 1980.534
Incense Burner” England, Staffordshire c. 1830
Glazed earthenware with polychrome enamel decoration
Incense Burner” England, Staffordshire c. 1830
Glazed earthenware with polychrome enamel decoration
Incense Burner” by Staffordshire Potteries, c. 1830 from artic 1980.563
Glazed earthenware with polychrome enamel decoration
Chimney Ornament” Staffordshire 1825-50
Glazed earthenware with polychrome enamel decoration
Chimney Ornament” England, Staffordshire 1887

Let me remind you. These are actual artworks in a major museum’s collection. Can we please have these six objects all on display together in a gallery? Oh that would be so much fun.

In this group of six, we have dates of 1830, 1830, 1830, 1830, 1887, 1825-50. Thus, we have one outlier. The Chimney Ornament was created in 1887.

I was hoping to find this pottery available online for under $60. But alas, Google Lens didn’t come up with any results.

Related visually

If you do a search for this incense burner….

…you see wonderful results of pastel-frosted cakes exploding with colorful candy, Cinderella carriages, and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay.

All are visually related to an artwork in a major art museum.

If these Staffordshire Pottery Houses ever go on public display, there certainly would need to be some tasty cupcakes available in the museum’s cafeteria. I would bring my five-year-old and two-year-old daughters dressed as Disney princesses carrying their My Little Ponies.


Ebay also has the same Staffordshire Pottery House money bank available for $60.

Enjoyed this blog post?

Join the creatives who receive thoughtful Spudart blog posts via the email newsletter

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

Something tells me that Marie Wright may have donated significant dollars to the Art Institute of Chicago. “Oh, Marie! Thanks for your $XX,XXX,XXX donation to the Art Institute. Why, sure, we’ll accept into our official collection your donation of these lovely Staffordshire pottery houses.”

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x