When Gary the mailman rang my doorbell today, clutching a parcel, I thought that this is what Christmas must feel like. No, Gary was not wearing a Santa suite and this Jewish girl has never had Christmas....but I felt all that childlike excitement that comes with an anticipated gift. So what was in the parcel, my gift for moi? Look for yourself.
Isn't this a wonderful Scuffle??? Look at the colors and the fat, bright bocage flowers. They look like candies pasted onto the bocage. The glaze is so shiny...makes we want to lick it. (No, I don't do that! Nor do I tap with my teeth to check for restoration. I have seen others do this and I wouldn't want to put my mouth where theirs have been.) No restoration. Jut like I want it.
The Scuffle is a fairly common figure form. It can be found with or without a bocage on varying bases and the figure is sometimes titled. Scuffle closely resembles another figure that is sometimes titled Contest. Seems the potters got confused because Scuffle and Contest are often switched around. In fact, I am not sure which one is really meant to be Scuffle and which one Contest.
The pair above are titled and have bocages--see my book for other examples, including an especially nice marked WALTON version. I wish I knew the source for the design of these figures. A few years ago Dreweatt Neate had an oak carving portraying the Scuffle that they believed was 17th century, so there is something more to this than a pretty picture. But what? I don't know. If you know, please share. email@example.com
For those of you into the technicals: there are several figures in my photo archive with this bocage format. Their identical bocage leaves, coupled with those distinctive flowers and other shared features, indicate that they all originated in the same pot bank. We don't know the potter's name. He will probably always remain anonymous.