A rare West Pans Figure of Summer, circa 1765

Raised on a simple green and pink rococo scroll-edged base, this delightful West Pans figure represents Summer from the Four Seasons. Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture, stands barechested, holding a sheaf of wheat in her right arm and a blue flower in her left hand. Attended by a putto, she is crowned with corn stalks and wears a loose stola decorated with mixed floral bouquets and sprays.

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

Although the original source may have been a late 17th-century German ivory of Ceres, this model perhaps has its precursor in Meissen porcelain of the mid 18th century (see final image).

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).