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This is a beautiful porcelain figure of a musician with a flageolet and tabor (fluit and drum), made by Derby around 1765, which was the Rococo era. The figure is one half of a pair that was called the "Idyllic Musicians" that was numbered 311 in Derby's factory list. The figure is in wonderful original condition.
 
The Derby Porcelain factory has its roots in the late 1740s, when Andrew Planché, a Walloon Huguenot refugee, started making simple porcelain toys shaped like animals in his back yard. In 1756 Staffordshire enameller William Duysbury and banker John Heath started a new porcelain factory with Planché and this was to grow out to the largest factory of its time, buying up the bankrupted Chelsea and Bow factories, as well as the stock of several other workshops including that of James Giles. The combination of various traditions, porcelain making skills and sophisticated clients enabled Duesbury to create one of the best porcelain factories of the 18th and 19th Centuries, which after many ups and downs is still operative today. 

 

This figure would have had a companion in a female musician playing a triangle.
 
The musician is dressed in a delicately coloured outfit of a flowery top, yellow trousers and a cape, white on the outside and beautiful light blue on the inside. He wears a black hat with a large plume, black buckled shoes, and he plays his flute and tabor simultaneously. He is stood on a beautiful Rococo scroll base against a flowery waist high bocage.
 
These figures were used to adorn the dinner table when dessert was served; groups of figures could serve to express something about the host, the guests, or to direct the conversation. There were many series with particular themes, such as pastoral types and animals, musicians, the trades, Greek and Roman mythology and the Elements, Seasons or Virtues.
 
The figure is unmarked but it does have the typical patch marks of that period.
 
CONDITION REPORT: The figure is in near-perfect antique condition without any significant damage, crazing or wear. Both the fluit and the drum stick have been broken and glued back and there are some typical tiny losses to the bocage. There are some firing cracks to the base - this is from production and not damage. The figure looks completely fresh and beautiful.

 
Antique British porcelain is never perfect. Kilns were fired on coal in the 1700s, 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 ca 25.5cm (10"). 13cm (5") wide and 11cm (4.25") deep.

Derby porcelain figure of musician with flageolet and tabor, ca 1765

SKU: A-DER26
£675.00Price
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