This hay maker was made by Ralph Wood, circa 1785. She holds an ale barrel because in that era of polluted drinking water, ale was the standard water-substitute/refreshment (yes, even at work!). The mold number "31" is impressed beneath the base; and a red band is around three sides of the base only--a typical Wood feature.
The story doesn't end there because Ralph Wood also made this same figure impressed "33", as you see alongside. This example is titled Hay Maker, lest you have any doubt as to her identity. Of course, being a Ralph Wood figure, the line extends around only three sides of the base.
Note the traces of original gilding. Gilding in this period was applied with a soft waxy gold that rubbed off easily, so it is not usually seen.
- with or without a bocage,
- with or without an impressed number (the example below on the brown background is impressed "30" and is courtesy of Aurea Carter)
- with or without a title (which, when present, is always in one of the typical Ralph Wood scripts.)
- with a dark red-brown band surrounding three sides of the base only.
The Dudson factory was established not too long after Ralph Wood's death, and it made mower and hay makers that are VERY like Ralph Wood's (below). In fact, I suspect Dudson acquired Ralph Wood's molds. This pair was made circa 1810.