A very fine Staffordshire saltglaze figure of Spinario, circa 1750-60
Modelled as a naked youth seated with his left knee bent, removing a thorn from his heel, raised on a stepped rectangular base, 14.1cm high, 14.2cm long at the base
A similar figure is in the Glaisher Collection in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, illustrated in Rackham's Catalogue (1987), p.110, no.808. Further examples of this rare model were in the Rous Lench Collection, sold at Sotheby's 1 July 1986, lot 137 and in the Jean and Kenneth Chorley Collection, Christie's New York 25 January 1993, lot 135. The Spinario, or the 'Boy with thorn', is a Greco-Roman first century AD bronze sculpture known to have been in Rome since the Middle Ages. In the fifteenth century it was moved to the Conservatori palazzo on the Capitoline, where it is still exhibited. There is also a marble Roman copy in the Medici collection in Florence and many copies of this figure were made from the Renaissance onwards.