Leeds Pottery Horse - ears damaged
Lot 50
A fine Leeds Pottery horse, circa 1825
Sold for £19,200 (US$ 32,271) inc. premium
Lot Details
A fine Leeds Pottery horse, circa 1825
In white pearlware with underglaze black mane, tail and hooves, its bridle picked out in orange with tiny blue florets, standing with its head turned to the right, on a flat green base edged with puce husks and with chamfered corners and a moulded frieze of stiff leaves around the edge, 43cm high (ears restuck)


  • Provenance: John Charlsworth Porritt (b.1827-), great-grandfather of the present owner. J C Porritt was apprenticed to the Leeds Pottery in 1840 when he was twelve years old. His father, also John Porritt probably also worked at the pottery. John Porritt Senior had married Hannah Chappel, probably a relative of either James or Stephen Chappel, two brothers who were manager and book-keeper at the Leeds Pottery from c.1825. James Chappel bought the Leeds Pottery in 1840, assisted by a loan from the Charlesworth family of wealthy coal mine owners. John Charlesworth Porritt remained at the Leeds pottery until it closed around 1849-50 and he was still listed as a potter in the 1851 census, when he was 23 years old. When he married in 1858, however, his occupation was given as a policeman. The horse, known in the family as the Porritt/Chappel horse (or more affectionately as 'Clarence') was inherited by the present owner in 1990.

    John Porritt's son, Walter Henry Porritt (b. 1874) told his own son that during the period of ownership of the pottery by the Chappels, a number of pot horses were made at Leeds by a foreign potter, thought to be from Northern France. They clearly had been in production before James Chappel joined the pottery, for an example inscribed 'John Medcalf 1821' was sold in these rooms on 9 September 2009, lot 23 and this had the same base as the present lot. According to Walter Porritt the shallow plinth on his family's horse indicates this is an earlier model. The bases were found to distort when fired and so were made rather deeper after a few of them were made. Two examples with the higher bases from Leeds Museum collections, one signed with initials LP, are illustrated by John Griffin, The Leeds Pottery (2005), pls. 322-323.

    Leeds Pottery horses were traditionally made for shop display by dealers trading in horse equipment, foodstuffs and medicines. They were made only in pearlware. The mould later came into the possession of the Seniors who made reproductions in creamware, the copies being distinguished by the different position of the horse's ears.
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