Hare coursing watch stand
At this time of year in the UK, if you are fortunate you can sometimes see male hares boxing each other in the fields. This particular figure depicts hare coursing which was until relatively recently a popular country pursuit.
Usually two greyhounds were released to chase a hare to the death. The hare was not only fast but bobbed and weaved, and so great skill was required in its pursuit by the greyhound.
This particular piece is a watch stand which would have been used to double as a clock on the parlour mantlepiece. It would have held the pocket watch of the man of the house after he returned home in the evening. It is a fine and rare example of a watch holder, obviously made for someone who enjoyed coursing.
More Figures of the month
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.