In Courtship Strephon careful hand his dame
Over a stile a child with ease might pass
But We added Strephon now neglects his dame,
Tumble or not to him tis all the same
Another recent purchase--this time not at a given-away price--is a splendid pair of figures of Simon and Iphigenia. I first saw a pair just like this when I photographed at the Wisbech and Fenland Museum. My friend Nick Burton was with me, and we were both really taken with the museum's pair. The figures are taller than most. He is 9.5" and she is a hair under 9", and they have a presence that a photo just doesn't capture.
Although my figures of Simon and Iphigenia are unmarked, I believe Ralph Wedgwood made them circa 1795, and I say this because the titles are impressed in a small serif font found only on figures associated with Wedgwood. Below is my Wedgwood "Charity," and you can see she is marked (on the reverse) and titled in the same font.
- Wedgwood letters are all the same size, whereas the "V" in Venus is larger than the other letters.
- Wedgood letters are a tad blockier.
So who did make Venus and Neptune? I fall back on my Neale hypothesis. Add to this, the combination of circles and dots on the garment Venus wears is similar to that frequently seen on other Neale figures...but also on a few figures I just can't attribute. Possibly Neale made this Neptune and Venus, but I have no argument that would hold up in court. On the other hand, trying to disprove theories is how scientific reasoning evolves, so why should our approach to pottery be any different? I look forward to someone stepping forth with a better hypothesis.
And while I am eating humble pie and pointing out errors, here's one more. In Staffordshire Figures 1780-1840, I show the figure of a horse, below. I could not examine the figure because all I had was this one gritty photo of it, but I included it in the HORSES chapter, because I really thought it was a horse.