As you see, the figure is enamel-painted in a typical Ralph Wood palette.
- The figure may have no impressed number, or it may be impressed "68" or "69" or "70"
- The figure is sometimes titled Peafant Worfhiping or sometimes simply Worship.
- The hat may be placed in assorted places.
Courtesy Mears & Boyer.
I think all the variations in the figure are easily explained.
- The hat was made of molds that were quite separate from the figure, and potters simply placed it where they saw fit. My favorite is the hat on the sheep's rump!
- As for numbering variations, we know those happened routinely on other Ralph Wood figures, and I tend to think that human error alone accounts for them.
- The difference in titling could be explained by simple human error, or perhaps it was decided to change the figure's title.
Of course, my explanations are purely guesses. What I do know is that this figure is quite rare. In addition to the examples shown here, I know of only one other (Schkolne, Staffordshire Figures 1780-1840, vol. 2, fig 109.38). It is titled Worshiper, no number, and the hat is on the ground behind the man.
So what did I pay for my fine 240-year old figure? Believe it or not, only $101. I bought it on eBay. It had a chip and some flaking to the hat, two chipped finger tips, and the end of one sheep's ear was chipped, all of which were disclosed. Not disclosed was the fact that the hands had been broken off and reattached, but the join was very tight, so I can understand the seller having missed it. Importantly the hands were there, and that's what counts. The restoration was so minor that I did it myself. I don't often get a bargain--on the contrary in fact! Far more satisfying than the price I paid is the beauty of this glorious treasure, and I am thrilled to add it to my collection.
PS: A word of caution, lest I encourage you to shop for figures on eBay: eBay is a minefield for all but the most knowledgeable collector.