The Young Collector
I like arranging my collection just so. To my eye, there is an ideal spot for every figure, and that's where it lives....until a new addition to the collection disrupts this perfect order! But there is method in my madness: I always know where to look for a particular figure. In the past months, my eyes have routinely wandered to a shelf to enjoy one of my ceramic children, only to find no figure--and often no shelf! That's because we are in the process of relocating and my collection has been packed up for four miserable months. Last night, my eyes stupidly searched in vain for this little pearlware figure that is a firm favorite.
I have dubbed this figure the "Young Collector" because she holds her doll with the care and pride of a prized possession. This is not a particularly common figure. I have seen only a handful of examples, and there are variations. The figure below is not entirely from the same molds--notice the legs are different and are joined to the base, and the head is larger.
There is a companion boy model. Where as the girl figures measure around 6", the boy can approach 7 inches. In fact, there also appear to be two boy models. The figure on the right is almost 7 inches; the figure on the left is 6 inches--almost the same height as the two girls shown here. Again, notice the differences in their feet and legs. And the shorter figure stands on a narrower base.
I have never seen a true pair of boy and girl--would that not be lovely? Andrew Dando tells me he recalls seeing a pair of prints, circa 1820, titled See My Baby and Just Breeched that were the design sources for these figures. The title Just Breeched refers to the fact that the boy is wearing his very first breeches, having just aged out of the gown that young boys wore in prior centuries
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