A few days ago, I blogged about Andrew Dando's little deer...and it has since sold. We in the US have spent the last few days chewing our nails about the economic crisis and wondering if we will revert to the moneyless Stone Age. Interestingly, a London pottery dealer told me today that business was super-busy, as people chose to put their funds into something that would last....and that made me look again at one of my favorite sites, John Howard's http://www.antiquepottery.co.uk/. How can this fabulous bear be unsold, when so many collectors should be seeking solace in purchasing pots?
John Keats's "A thing of beauty is a joy forever" comes to mind every time I look at my own performing bear group. I bought it a long time ago. An elderly married gentleman in the north of England parted with it when he urgently needed money for his girlfriend. My figure group has given me nothing but joy over the years....I doubt the gentleman has had as much pleasure from his girlfriend. If I didn't already own a savoyard and bear, John would be swiping my credit card for this one!
I just LOVE John's figure group. The base and bocage are particularly lovely and just look at that lion's face. Makes you grin too, doesn't it? There is a lovely crisp quality to the whole figure, and only the rope is restored--to be expected in this figure group. Best of all, you can buy from John at a distance with total trust. I might have said "you can bank on his word'...but banks aren't what they used to be! Anyway, you get the point: John is one of those dealers I buy from long-distance because he always discloses repair and restoration, and I have never been disappointed.
On the subject of repair: notice that this savoyard is missing his arm. I LOVE this feature. This is not damage. Instead, the arm was lost in the first firing, but rather than toss a valuable figure, the potter completed it, just painting over the stump. Super touch, and so nice to see. Obviously, John recognized this for what it is and has left it in original condition. A dumb dealer might have taken it to the restorer to add an arm....what an awful thought.
Last but not least, you may have noticed that the price on this group is commensurate with its rarity and quality. If you like it, don't let money stop you. Remember that "A thing of beauty is a joy forever"....and, as I tell my husband, we should spend our money while it still exists.