An early English porcelain model of a lion, maker unknown

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Lot 71
An important English Porcelain model of a lion
circa 1745-50

Sold for £ 6,000 (US$ 8,250) inc. premium
An important English Porcelain model of a lion
circa 1745-50
Left in the white and standing in an aggressive pose, roaring with its head turned towards the viewer, its face and mane modelled with great character and expression, its excessively large paws supporting the beast upon an irregular base, 14.6cm high

Footnotes

  • This model is clearly of an early date but its attribution is not certain. Closely related models appear in English tin-glazed earthenwares and creamwares. See Michael Archer, Delftware (1997), p 403 and colour plates 245 and 246 for a pair attributed to London of circa 1750-60. These stand on high rocky bases different to the present lot but a porcelain pair illustrated alongside them (attributed to Bow) stand on the same bases. The modelling of the lion from this pair is identical to the present lot. A related creamware version in the Potteries Museum, also on a high base, is illustrated by Pat Halfpenny, English Earthenware Figures (1991), p 41. The fine and detailed modelling on the present lot is notable, even the ribcage of the animal is suggested to just the right degree. Considerable hand finishing is evident on both the animal and the base. It would seem likely that both pottery versions are based upon this porcelain prototype. Whilst clearly not Bow, this model has in the past been attributed to Longton Hall but it does not relate to the early 'Snowman' figures. Instead the paste and glaze matches a pair of white figures of putti set before tôle peinte branches applied with Derby flowers, that was sold in these rooms on 13 June 2000, lot 339. These exhibited the same rather opaque glaze, bubbling of the glaze around the foot and hollow bases. Very little is known of the white porcelain demonstrated to the Royal Society by Thomas Briand in 1743, nor the 'beautiful Earthenware little inferior to Porcelain or China Ware' that Briand is noted to have been making in a document of February 1746. Nor is much known of the early work of William Duesbury prior to joining Littler at Longton Hall, or of Andrew Planché's earliest experiments. At present, the origin of this model remains a mystery
An early English porcelain model of a lion, maker unknown
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