Heraclitus and Democritus
These are two companion classical busts sometimes referred to as Tragedy and Comedy.
The sad faced figure on the left is Heraclitus (540-475 BC). He is known as The Weeping Philosopher because he found man’s condition melancholy. This Staffordshire example is circa 1780, stands 5.5 inches tall and is after a similar bust made by Derby.
The smiling figure on the right is Democritus (460-370 BC), a Greek philosopher and the founder of the atomic theory. He is known as The Laughing Philosopher because he found man’s condition ridiculous. Again after a Derby bust and circa 1780, 5.5 inches tall.
More Figures of the month
Pair of white cats
This is a rare pair of seated cats, approximately 13 ½” tall. They are decorated in bright gold and date to around 1870-1880. Harding Book Two illustrates this impressive pair on page 239.
Tiger and lion
This is a rare figure of a tiger and lion lying in front of a palm tree. Circus acts with wild animals became very popular in England during the 1830s and it is possible that this figure as well as other animal figures commemorated these events.
This is a rare figure portraying Lady Godiva seated sidesaddle on horseback. The figure is titled “Lady Godiva” and is decorated in the manner of the Parr factory, with soft yellow, green, and brown brushstrokes.
This is an early Staffordshire figure of a woman standing on a grassy pedestal, with a coin in her extended hand. The figure is titled “Lost Piece” and represents the biblical verses found in Luke 15:8-10.
This is a gilt script titled figure of William Shakespeare with his right arm resting on a book atop a pedestal. Next to the pedestal is a sloped watch holder with a clock face painted inside, sitting atop a tree decorated with grapes.
Children on Saint Bernard dogs
This is a very rare pair of children seated sideways on Saint Bernards. More common figures have the children laying down or seated facing forward. Others have the rear arms moulded into the figures, instead of being separately moulded as these are. These figures are approximately 10” tall and date to around 1840-1850.