Figure of the month

​William Smith O’Brien

​Courtesy Nick Burton English Pottery
September 2020

O’Brien (1803-1864) was an Irish nationalist. He entered parliament in 1826 and made repeated efforts to improve poor relief and education in Ireland. In October, 1843 he joined O’Connells Repeal Association. In 1848 he led an abortive insurrection which ended ludicrously in a virtually bloodless battle in a cabbage garden in Ballingarry.

He was arrested on a charge of high treason and sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered. His sentence was later commuted to transportation for life and he was sent to Maria Island, Tasmania. He was granted a full pardon in 1856 provided he did not return to Ireland. He died in Bangor, North Wales in 1864.

This figure is 7 inches high, circa 1848. 

​Courtesy Nick Burton English Pottery

More Figures of the month

Pair of white cats

May 2023

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

April 2023

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. 

Lady Godiva

March 2023

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.

Lost Piece

February 2023

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.

William Shakespeare

January 2023

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

December 2022

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. 


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