Ophelia was made decorated in color glazes, ca 1780, in the Ralph Wood style. In Early English Figure Pottery by Sir Harold Macintosh, BT (please tell me what BT stands for), Ophelia is illustrated, height 13-1/2”.
You can see Macintosh's Ophelia on the left . Macintosh notes the figure is unique and attributes it to Ralph Wood. He also illustrates a colored glaze Hamlet. Of course, Hamlet has a willow branch slung across his shoulder in sympathy with his lost love.
The figures were also made in creamware decorated with colored glazes. I believe two creamware pairs have been recorded. The pair illustrated on the left is from one of Jonathan Horne’s famed exhibitions. Jonathan noted the figures were possibly made in Leeds.
I am always searching for enamel-painted figures, and the first example of Ophelia that I saw was striking. Alas, her condition didn’t measure up to my picky standards, so I passed. Note that this example has the hollow area around the head and torso filled in. This possibly-later modification made the figure less vulnerable to damage in production.
The second example of Ophelia I found was at the Potteries Musuem. She had once been attached to a base, now lost. Somehow this one doesn't push my button. Her face is not pretty and is the willow is too slimy, perhaps? Academic concern anyway—the figure was not for sale!
I bought Martyn’s figure quite quickly, almost impulsively, without the usual soul searching I do. Yes, I am a dealer’s nightmare. I lugged her home in my hand luggage and kept her wrapped up for a few days when I got home, wanting to savor the moment after I had caught up with the work on my desk. Yesterday, I opened her with trepidation, wondering if I would regret my impulse purchase. Not at all. Ophelia is even more beautiful than I had recalled. Maybe one day I will find her a Hamlet.
Thanks to my friend Stephen Smith--yes, THE Stephen Smith of the fabulous site www.matesoundthepump.com--for telling me that BT stands for Baronet.
You can read all about Sir Harold Macintosh here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Mackintosh,_1st_Viscount_Mackintosh_of_Halifax