This is a beautiful pair of Derby figures called the "Garland Shepherds", made in about 1765. The pair is one of Derby's most famous figure pairs. This particular pair is very finely made and in great condition. 

 

The Derby Porcelain factory has its roots in the late 1740s, when André Planché, a Walloon Huguenot refugee, started making simple porcelain toys shaped like animals. Local entrepeneur William Duysbury took an interest in his skills and worked with him to improve the quality of his wonderfully shaped items. Together they laid the foundations of what would become a very refined tradition of figure making at Derby. In 1769 Duysbury bought up the bankrupted Chelsea factory, incorporating their reputation for high quality figures and tableware; this combination of traditions, porcelain making skills, sophisticated clients and available work people created one of the best porcelain factories of the 18th and 19th Centuries, which after many ups and downs is still operative today.

 

It is not known what the origin of these figures is, but it is assumed that they might have been modelled after a French engraving after Boucher. The figures have fine clothes painted in fresh colours and are stood on simple base without any scrolling. These figures are clearly inspired by the Romantic movement; if these were true shepherds, imagine them walking over the moors with their silk shoes!

 

These figures were used to adorn the dinner table when dessert was served; groups of figures served to express something about the host, the guests, or to direct the conversation. One popular topic was an array of romantic rural characters, and this pair is from one such series. 

 

This pair consists of a female shepherdess with a lamb standing up to her, while she places a flower garland around its neck. The male shepherd stands towards her with a letter in his hand; we cannot read exactly what it says but we can make out the words "love" and "eternity" - this may be a love declaration, or is he singing to her? She seems to receive his message gracefully, her face peaceful and the lamb looking up to her lovingly.

 

The figures are unmarked but they have three patch marks on the underside, suggesting a date of about 1765.

 

CONDITION REPORT: The figures are in very good condition without significant damage, wear or repairs. The right hand and rim of the hat of the shepherdess have had a light repair, and the left hand and love letter of the shepherd have had a slight touch up.

 

Antique British porcelain is never perfect. Kilns were fired on coal in the 1800s, and this meant that china from that period can have some firing specks from flying particles. British makers were also known for their experimentation, and sometimes this resulted in technically imperfect results. Due to the shrinkage in the kiln, items can have small firing lines or develop crazing over time, which should not be seen as damage but as an imperfection of the maker's recipes, probably unknown at the time of making. Items have often been used for many years and can have normal signs of wear, and gilt can have signs of slight disintegration even if never handled. I will reflect any damage, repairs, obvious stress marks, crazing or heavy wear in the item description but some minor scratches, nicks, stains and gilt disintegration can be normal for vintage items and need to be taken into account.

 

There is widespread confusion on the internet about the difference between chips and nicks, or hairlines and cracks. I will reflect any damage as truthfully as I can, i.e. a nick is a tiny bit of damage smaller than 1mm and a chip is something you can easily see with the eye; a glazing line is a break in the glazing only; hairline is extremely tight and/or superficial and not picked up by the finger; and a crack is obvious both to the eye and the finger.

 

DIMENSIONS: Height 14cm (5.5").

Derby pair of porcelain figures, Garland Shepherds, ca 1765

SKU: A-DER41
£0Price
  • PLEASE NOTE THAT CURRENTLY THERE ARE SHIPPING DELAYS DUE TO THE PANDEMIC, THE TIME OF YEAR AND BREXIT. WE WILL GET YOUR ITEM SAFELY TO YOU BUT IT MIGHT TAKE MORE TIME THAN USUAL!

     

    Your item will be shipped after receipt of funds, unless agreed otherwise in writing. 

     

    We will ship your items within a maximum of 2 working days after payment (usually quicker). We cannot be held responsible for delivery times once the item has been shipped as this is at the shipper's discretion and, in case of international delivery, can be subject to customs delays, weather, holidays and/or political instability.

     

    If your delivery failed to appear or was damaged in transit, please let us know as soon as possible and, in case of damage, provide us with pictures of the damaged item and/or packaging. Cut off dates for this are 14 days after shipping, or 2 days after a damaged delivery. We will need to comply with shippers' regulations in order to follow up the issue, but it is vital that you let us know what is wrong as soon as possible. We will do anything we can to follow up faulty deliveries but cannot be held responsible if we have not been notified within the required time period. 

     

    We always aim to have happy customers so if you have an issue with or questions about your item, please contact us and we will do anything we can to resolve the issue with you! 

  • Cancellations can only be accepted before the item has been shipped. Once an item has been shipped, the transaction cannot be cancelled anymore.


    Returns need to be requested within 2 days of receipt of the item and completed within 14 days from the date they have been agreed in writing.

    If you want to return an item because you changed your mind, you will be responsible for the return shipping. For international deliveries, this will need to be a fully tracked shipping mode. The item is expected to be received back in the same state it was sent - any damage due to insufficient packaging will be your responsibility. We will only pay for return shipping if we have mutually agreed that the item did not satisfy your expectations. A refund will be made immediately after receipt of the item.

    You are subject to the EU Consumers Rights Act, which protects your rights buying over the internet.

     

    We always aim to have happy customers so if you have an issue with or questions about your item, please contact us and we will do anything we can to resolve the issue with you!