But when I unwrapped my Widow, I was smitten by the beautiful enamels and lovely modeling. She shows all the hallmarks of an early enamel figure, circa 1795. Notice the soft colors and the total absence of the brighter greens associated with post-1805 production. Also, that dress pattern is the type I have observed on several other early figures. Add to it all, she has a great footprint, a three-dimensionality.
I found another very like her in the Victoria and Albert Museum. The model is the same and the palette is early. Her right hand is placed slightly differently, which could have happened quite easily in assembling the clay parts.
Collecting is a fascinating journey. I learn about figures and about myself all the time. Till now, I have thought that my collecting focus is the rarest and most 'special' figures....yet last month I was offered an impressive and unrecorded figure group that I could not bring myself to buy. The modeling, colors, and glazes just didn't come together in a way that pleased my eye. But my Widow, at the other end of the price spectrum, is another story. This figure has taught me not to tar all seemingly similar objects with the same brush. Not all Widows are nasty clunkers. So, if you keep your eyes open, you can find beautiful undervalued figures that will give you a lifetime of pleasure.