Goss Night Lights
by Pat & Bob

Fairy Lamp Club Newsletter, Issue XXVI, February 2003


William Henry Goss, after studying art, apprenticed with William Copeland at his pottery firm and became acquainted with Parian ware, the medium that the Goss firm later used for most of its existence. Goss started his business in 1858 and his factory later became known as the Falcon Works.

The Goss mark of the Goshawk with "W.H. Goss" beneath was used on pieces between 1883 - 1931. In 1932 the words "Ltd." and "England" were added.

His son Adolphus joined the firm in the early 1880’s and added many different models, including the "cottages." In 1893 the first cottage in colored Parian ware was produced. The first three cottages were Hathaway, Burns and Shakespeare. Goss produced 37 more cottages over the next 50 years. They proved to be so popular that the first three were continually produced until the Goss factory closed. Models made between 1905 - 1914 usually carry a registration number, although a few carry them from 1884, i.e. Rd 208047 (1893) being the Hathaway cottage. The registration number was determined when the first model of that cottage was made and continued thereafter.

Is it a coincidence that Goss night-light cottages were made during the fairy lamp craze? Maybe not.

When they modeled the one-piece night-light cottages, Goss made an opening in the back of ample size to allow a candle to be inserted and a round hole in the rear of the roof to vent the candle heat.

Goss made night-lights of eight models of cottages plus variations in size and color as noted below.

R-392 Hathaway’s Cottage, Slattery
Rd 208047 (1893)

Colored, 5.8" (148mm) long
White unglazed, 5.8" (148mm) long


R-414  Round Tower Windsor
Rd 209991 (1893)

This is listed under "Models and Historic Shapes" but not as a night-light although it is two piece and has a large vent hole in the top and a smaller opening on the bottom. 

White, brown, or grey colors, 5.7" (145mm)

R-393 Robert Burn’s Cottage
Rd 211037 (1893)

Blue windows with brown glazing bars, 5.7" (145mm) long
Long open windows, unglazed only, 5.7" (145mm) long
White, unglazed, 5.9" (150mm) long


R-391 Shakespeare's House, Stratford-On-Avon
Rd 225833 (1894)

There were 13 different models of this cottage.  Shown above are are full and half-length versions.

Colored full length., 7.3" (185mm) long
White, unglazed, full length, 7.3" (185mm) long
Colored, two piece, half-length, 4.1" (105mm) long
White, unglazed, two piece, half-length, 4.1" (105mm) long
Two piece impressed mark, was probably a trial piece, 4.5" (115mm) long
Colored, two piece, no threshold at base of door opening, half length, 4.8" (122mm) long

R-393 Manx Cottage
Rd 273243 (1896)

Colored, 4.8" (122mm) long

A Window in Thrums
Rd 322142 (1898)
Photo courtesy Terry Millward,
President, Goss Collectors Club, UK. (

Colored, 5.1" (130mm) long

First and Last House in England
Rd 521645 (1908)

Cream roof and green door, 4.6" (117mm) long
Grey roof and black door, 4.6" (117mm) long
White with green door and brown chimney, 4.6" (117mm) long

GossChapel01_small.gif (28616 bytes)  GossChapel04_small.gif (26591 bytes)
Photos courtesy Crystal Snape, 
Golden Goose Antiques,

Holden Chapel, Harvard, Cambridge, USA
Rd 643867 (1908 or later)
This model was only made as a night-light.

Base is stamped:
Model of Holden Chapel
Built 1744
Harvard University, Cambridge Mass.
Rd 643867
Jones, McDuffee & Stratton Co.
33 Franklin Street, Boston, Mass

Unglazed, 5.4" (137mm) long

(No photo available at this time.)

Massachusetts Hall, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA
Rd 647235 (1908 or later)
This model was only made as a night-light.

White unglazed, Dimensions Unknown

The two Harvard models are very rare and very expensive in the price guides.

There are two other models listed night-lights:

Yorick’s Skull
The base is modeled as three books.

White, two piece, 4.0" (102mm) high

(No photo available at this time.)

Durham Abbey Sanctuary Knocker

Two piece, 3.3" (83mm) high


  1. The Pocket Guide to Goss Models by Nicholas Pine

  2. The Price Guide to the Models of W.H. Goss by Roland Ward

  3. Fairy Lamps by Bob and Pat Ruf


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