Unrecorded Derby figure, Complimenting, C. 1775


Previously unrecorded Derby figure No. 79, modelled after a Continental original, with a gentleman in a turquoise frock coat and stockings, engaging a seated lady in conversation, she wears a pink gown with floral undergowns and sits in an elaborate chair, with an urn on pedestal applied with a bachus mask to the rear, on an asymmetric base applied with flowers. Circa 1770


some restorations, including the urn at the back.


16.5 cm high


This figure is most certainly Derby, but does not appear in Bradshaw’s book ‘Derby Figures’ (where he reproduces the 1772-96 figure list and documents all known examples). There are however a series of very similar figures, beginning at No. 73 - a Pastoral group - and continuing to No. 88 - ‘Pair of Salutation Figures’. Of these, the ‘Hair-dresser’ group and the ‘Shoe-fixer’ group are the most familiar, being produced into the 19th century and copied in Staffordshire pottery. Group No. 79 reads: ‘- Not identified - ‘Complimenting Group of two {6,3/4 ins.}, enameled’ (sic)‘. Comparing this description to our figure, we can see the size is correct, there are two in the group, and the style fits the surrounding figures perfectly - on this basis, we are excited to announce the re-discovery of Derby figure No. 79. The very similar group known as the ‘Fury Group’, No.83, is well documented as being taken from a K.G.Lück group produced at Frankenthal in around 1765; there is most probably a proto-type for this figure from the same source. It is interesting to compare these two Derby figures, No.83 and this one, No.79. The lady and gent are the same characters, right down to the buttons on their costumes, and even the fancy continental-style chair is there - although in this version, the gent has been scolded so harshly by the lady that it has collapsed, and he sits amongst its wreckage!

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