A rare Vauxhall figure of Spring, circa 1755-60

This soft paste figure is modelled as a boy seated on an upturned pannier filled with flowers. The shoulders of his light-brown jacket are adorned with pale yellow ribbons and his puce breeches are trimmed with flowers and bows. The rococo scroll moulded base is picked out in gold and adorned with flowers and leaves. He would have once held with both hands a chaplet of flowers. Representing spring from a group of the Infant Seasons, this model is after a Meissen figure of circa 1750.

A near identical example of this figure was purchased from Samuels, Norwich by Lady Charlotte Schreiber, for £1 1 shilling in November 1869, and subsequently given to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (414:189-1885). The museum acquired it as Chelsea before it was reattributed to Longton Hall. The most recent research has confirmed a Vauxhall origin for this figure based on the paste and glaze, as well as the existence of an example with printed Vauxhall flower decoration. Some Vauxhall figures have a strong similarity with Plymouth hard paste examples. Contemporary correspondence reveals the modeller Thomas Hammersley was persuaded by William Cookworthy to leave Vauxhall for Plymouth.

Condition: The hands are lacking and there are losses to the ribbons, leaves and flowers. There is a glued break to the right leg, and there are faint glaze cracks and clay tears to the neck and chest area. No restoration.

Dimensions: Height 12.5 cm

Ceramics of Vauxhall: 18th Century Pottery and Porcelain, Roger Massey, Felicity Marno and Simon Spero (The English Ceramic Circle, 2007).

Vauxhall Porcelain: A Tentative Chronology, Simon Spero (ECC Transactions, vol. 18, part 2, 2003). See fig. 56 for this model.