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On offer is a superb pair of white parian figures, probably English and made in Staffordshire in the late 19th Century. The figures are after a pair of bronze models created by Charles-Gabriel Sauvage, also called Lemire, in about 1795. They originals were called "L'Enfant lisant et L'Enfant écrivant" or "Child Drawing" and "Child Writing" and today the originals can be found at the Louvre Museum in Paris. You can see a boy and a girl studying, seated on square bases. They would be perfect either for display on a piece of furniture, or on plinths.
These figures were made both in France and in England. These are not marked but the quality seems to be English parian porcelain from Staffordshire, possibly Minton, Copeland or Brownfield - but it could be any number of factories. These two are slightly different from many French models in the sense that they are less "cute" and angelic, less chubby, and a little more serious and precise in the way that both Minton and Copeland made their Parian figures. However, it is exactly in the precision of their concentration that these two are very moving.
These figures are part of the Neoclassical trend of the late 18th and early 19th Century, and this pair has been brought out both in parian porcelain and in bronze by many different makers throughout the 19th Century. This pair is particularly well made and given its high quality, it is very possible that it was made by Minton although there is no record of this. 
The two little children are seemingly busy doing their homework; the girl (with a ribbon in her short cropped hair) is reading a book, the boy writing and chewing on his pen. The detail is superb, as visible in the pictures; each finger, toe and the folds of their garments is done with utter perfection. Their facial expressions are wonderfully alive...  so ssssshh...! These two are very concentrated!
The figures are unmarked.
CONDITION REPORT Both figures are in perfect condition without any damage or repairs and no wear.
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. Etcetera - I try to be as accurate as I can and please feel free to ask questions or request more detailed pictures!
DIMENSIONS 35cm (13.75") high, base 14cm X 12cm (5.5" X 4.75").

White parian figures, L'Enfant lisant et L'Enfant écrivant, after Lemire 19thC



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