Figure of Ceres, West Pans, soft paste porcelain, c.1765


Raised on a simple green and pink rococo scroll-edged base, this delightful West Pans figure represents Ceres (Demeter in Greek mythology), the Roman goddess of agriculture, attended by a putto. Crowned with corn stalks and wearing a loose stola decorated with mixed floral bouquets and sprays, Ceres stands barechested, holding a sheaf of wheat in her right arm and a blue flower in her left hand.

This model has its precursor in Meissen porcelain - see the photo with the white background for a comparison.

The use of Trembly Rose-type decoration, as seen on the clothing, is rarely ever found on Longton Hall or West Pans figures.

Provenance: The Dr Peter Bradshaw Collection.

One name synonymous with West Pans in Scotland is that of the entrepreneur William Littler, under whose guidance porcelain had been manufactured earlier at Longton Hall, Staffordshire, between the years 1749-60.

Condition: Minor losses to the corn stalk crown, and lacking the putto's left thumb. Slight firing flaws to the arms and pony tail of Ceres, probably caused by something touching the figure in the kiln. Typical clay tears. There are traces of gilding, now mostly worn. No restoration or other damage.

This figure would enhance any collection of early English porcelain.

Dimensions: Height 16.5 cm

Out of the Blue, 18th Century Scottish Porcelain, George Haggarty (catalogue accompanying 2008 loan exhibition of West Pans porcelain from Scottish collections).

Eighteenth Century English Porcelain Figures 1745-1795, Peter Bradshaw (Antique Collectors' Club, 1981).

Longton Hall Porcelain, Bernard Watney (Faber and Faber, 1957).

Excavations at the Longton Hall porcelain manufactory. Part III: the porcelain and other ceramic finds, Bernard M. Watney (Post-Medieval Archaeology, Volume 27, 1993).


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