Figure of the month

Fox and monkey

J&S Mottashed Collection
August 2022

What an interesting figure of a fox and monkey, 4 3/4” tall.  The figure is rare and probably represents one of Aesop’s Fables called “The Fox and the Monkey”. 

It is circa 1840, partially painted in the round, and has a solid base.  Other Aesop’s Fables’ Staffordshire figures with foxes can be found in Harding Book Two, pages 339-340, figures 3346 D, E and F.

J&S Mottashed Collection

The story of “The Fox and the Monkey” from Aesop’s Fables
One day Monkey dances for all the animals. His dancing is so entertaining, the animals make him King. Only Fox is not impressed. She comes across a hunter’s trap set with meat and tricks Monkey into believing she has discovered a bountiful feast in the forest, ready for him to claim for the animals. As soon as Monkey sees the meat he greedily pounces on it, trapping his paw. Angry and in pain, Monkey blames Fox for deceiving him, but Monkey’s selfishness and naivity is just more proof to Fox that Monkey is not fit to be King. “A ruler needs many talents,” says Fox.

More Figures of the month

Artabanes

February 2024

This is a theatrical figure representing an actor in the role of Artabanes, from the opera Artaxerxes. The figure stands 11 3/4” tall, dates to approximately 1830-1840, and is very rare. There is a dagger in his right hand, part of the blade being hidden beneath his sash.  The interior and the edging of his coat are fully lined with ermine.

Napoleon III with Prince Albert

January 2024

This is a figure of Napoleon III with Prince Albert, each with a drum on the ground and to the side.  The figure stands 10 ¾” and dates to about 1854.

A pair of clowns

December 2023

This is a fine pair of Staffordshire clowns, both standing 6 ½” tall, dating to circa 1860.  Each is wearing pantaloons, with the figure on the left holding a cane. 

Scottish hunter

November 2023

This is an interesting example of a Scottish hunter, wearing kilt and underglaze blue coat, with a dog at his knee and a rifle resting near his right hand.  The figure stands 14 ¼” tall and dates to about 1860.

A pair of Bullmastiffs

October 2023

This is a pair of recumbent Bullmastiff dogs, approximately 6” tall, dating to around 1850-1860. This English breed was developed as a guard dog in the nineteenth century and is also known as the Gamekeeper’s Night Dog.

Prince of Wales

September 2023

This is a rare figure of Prince Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales, second child and eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. He stands with his right hand resting on the head of a brown and white dog, and his left hand on the barrel of a rifle.

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