Once upon a time, while slogging away at my book, I came across an unusual little Staffordshire figure of a sheep. The figure was definitely early (pre-Victorian), but the bocage was molded in one and was quite flat on the back. The figure was painted all the way around, but the bocage was flat. Mentally--but not in print!--I called this sheep "The Last Bocage Figure" because it seemed to represent a transition to the simpler modeling of the Victorian era. Was this the beginning of the birth of flat backed figures? No way of knowing...but it did keep me guessing. Cheerful little figure, isn't it?
When I lecture, I am routinely asked 'how much do these figures cost?' I answer that you can spend tens of thousands of dollars, or you can buy a fabulous little figure for less than the price of a NY hotel room. Of course, this gives me much wiggle room! I stay in cheap NY hotels, but some in my audience prefer suites at the Plaza. I bought all three of these figures for less than the price of a modest hotel room. So you don't need deep pockets to have a fabulous collection. But sometimes, when something really special comes your way, it truly is worth reaching deep into your pocket. Trust me, I have been there....and I have never regretted it!
Thanks to my cyberspace friend and fellow collector, Peter, for generously sharing his sheep, below. I guess we now have a Last Bocage Flock. Seeing this pair made my day. Aren't they delicious?
Our flock is turning into a menagerie. Many thanks to a lovely blogger for generousy sharing her Last Bocage deer.