One question frequently asked when I lecture is "How much do these figures cost?" Of course, the answer is: it depends. Admittedly a fine figure can cost a significant sum---but some of my personal favorites can be found for less than the cost of a night's accommodation in a mediocre NY (or London) hotel. There are thousands of such smaller figures, oozing charm and personality, but collectors stampeding for the next TeeTotal or Performing Dog group overlook them. I tell my audiences that I find greater satisfaction in a simple figure that is perfect than in a "highly desirable" figure gummed up by restoration. Give me a perfect or unusual figure, over that Performing Dog group with restored dogs--especially incorrectly restored dogs!
Now isn't that a great ram? And a very unusual model too. Don't you love the rich enamels. They are every bit as saturated with color as they appear in the picture, and the bluey glaze is sumptuous too. Look how it has puddled deliciously in the dimples of the ram's coat. The ram is terrific, but the little sheep, surrounded by flowers, is the cherry on the top! This figure is just 4 1/2" high, and the distinctive base and bocage attribute it to the Sherratt-style. For me, this figure has it all and it will give endless pleasure.
Another one bought for less than the cost of that blah hotel room is this little reading boy.
I bought this little reading boy at a venue where there were many larger, costlier figures--and lots of collectors. I probably bought the smallest and least expensive item in the room, overlooked by those in search of bigger trophies. But this little treasure just screams "Look at me" from whatever table corner I pop him on. Visitors to my home who know nothing about figures are always drawn to him. They smile as they look at him--as do I--and comment on his charm. I love holding this figure. Just 3 1/2" tall, it fits perfectly into my hand. As my fingers curl around it, the silky glaze warms quickly to my touch---and I think of a proud mother who, almost two centuries ago, perhaps displayed this figure and rejoiced in her child's new-found reading skills.