Set of Four Bristol (Richard Champion) Porcelain Figures Allegorical of the Seasons
Circa 1775, the modelling attributed to Pierre Stephan, repairer's impressed T° on Summer and Winter, (often titled 'The Child Seasons' or `The Rustic Seasons')
Each modeled in contemporary dress, Spring represented as a striding barefoot maiden supporting a flower-filled basket against her right hip, her left hand raised placing a posy in her garlanded hair, her yellow lined short jacket opening to reveal a pink and blue laced bodice, above a flowing gilt enriched floral patterned skirt, on a rocky mound base; Summer represented as a bare-legged boy leaning against a tree-stump, holding a sheaf of wheat and a sickle at his hip while offering a few grains in his extended left hand, his chemise rolled at the sleeves and draped to reveal a bare chest and shoulder, above floral breeches, his coat thrown over a beehive at the back, on a rocky mound base; Autumn represented as a barefoot young maiden standing beside rockwork while supporting with both hands a basket of fruit on her left hip, she wears a pink kerchief headdress and a floral dress secured by a blue belt, the hem lifted to reveal a puce quilted underskirt, on a rocky mound base; Winter represented as a young boy skating with arms crossed, wearing a black hat trimmed with a bow and holly, his faun colored jacket lined with fur, above gilt enriched floral patterned breeches, a rush- basket filled with game slung by a purple sash at his waist, on a faux-ice base. Height 10 1/2 inches.
Rev. V.J. Haggins Collection.
With James A. Lewis & Son, Inc., New York (paper label).
Mrs. Charles Dunlap Collection, no. 590 (paper label).
Sotheby's, Parke-Bernet, New York, 3 December 1975, lot 222.
Museum and Art Gallery Nottingham Castle (exhibition label).
See Arthur Lane, English Porcelain Figures of the 18th Century, pp. 126-127 and pls. 92-93, for a discussion of the related Derby French Seasons attributed to Pierre Stephan and for documentary evidence that the Adult Seasons were made by him at Champion's Bristol. Another complete set is recorded in the Schreiber Collection at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London (nos. 414:729 A-D - 1885). Also see Severne MacKenna, Champion's Bristol Porcelain, fig. 99. A set was sold Sotheby's, London, 19 March 1963 lot 164.
Arthur Lane and others have attributed the modelling to Pierre Stephan who, along with Nicholas Gauron, introduced a more accomplished style from Tournai and France. The repairer's mark T° is traditionally ascribed to 'Tebo' but may possibly be John Toulouse or another.
Also reference Bernard Rackham, Victoria & Albert Museum Publication, Issue 106C, Catalogue of the Schreiber Collection, Vol. I.-Porcelain, pls. 78 & 79, nos. 729.
C Estate of Sarah Belk Gambrell
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