A holiday gift suggestion--and a perfect for the library of your choice. To learn more and to order, click here.
I have succumbed and joined Facebook. Find me as Myrna Bloch Schkolne and follow blog updates. I will also put fabulous pottery finds on my Facebook wall for all to share. Please post your treasures and finds too!
This week, I posted two items from Aurea Carter’s stock in the Showcase. As I did so, I recalled my time in London this February, when Aurea took me as her guest to the Morley College Ceramics Circle’s monthly meeting. The lecture was on porcelain figures, but I am always on the lookout for links between pottery and porcelain figures and the evening didn’t disappoint. Admittedly I was probably the youngest member of the audience, but the lecture was excellent, the room was packed, and collectors were interested and enthusiastic. Roger Massey, the lecturer, brought along a porcelain figure that was a dead look alike of the Neale pottery figure representing Winter. Sitting two rows in front of me were two little old ladies, and one had a pottery figure in front of her. The figure was small and anything-but- grand, yet it beckoned as Roger talked. In fact, it was quite distracting because there was something about it that made me want to pick it up SO badly. I just knew it would fit into my hand perfectly and warm to my touch. When the lecture was over, I pounced. One of the ladies explained that she and her friend had collected forever and they liked loaning each other items from their collections. They had brought along three pieces, including a nice version of the London barber…but I loved the simple little figure portraying Winter.
The lady who owned the figure said she had no family and was at a very advanced age so she wanted to put my name under the figure! I was very embarrassed and hastily told her that she should do nothing but enjoy her figure forever. And I hope she does. As Aurea and I drove home across the Thames on Westminster Bridge, a great evening packed with little surprises delivered one last punch: a picture postcard view of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, all lit up.
In 1777, Samuel Johnson said “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” I have been to London umpteen times, have yet to run out of things I want to do, and never fail to find a ceramics surprise along the way.
The wording on the bottom of this figure is the clue to its identity. It reads:It’s quite hoptional you know --but here’s sixpence for you!--it’s between you and the Guard!”
These are lines from a play. The same lines appears on a print in the V&A. The print is not on display--no, not even on the website, where it is described as John Liston in the role of Lubin Log. That squares with my long-held belief that this figure is John Liston in one of his most popular roles.
On Nov 20, 1812, John Liston appeared at Covent Garden as Lubin Log in the then new play Love, Law and Physic written by James Kenney. Lubin Log is a conceited, ignorant, mean and rather vulgar cockney, He inherits a fortune and sets out to York to marry a yound lady. The suitor she prefers plots to outwit Log.The wording on the figure draws from the play. Alighting from the coach, mean-spirited Log takes his time giving the coach man a sixpenny tip, impressing on him that it is quite optional on his part. Liston superbly personified cockneyism and his success inspired future cockney characters.
Aside from the V&A's hidden print, there are other design sources for this figure. Apparently Richard Dighton's caricature of Liston as Lubin Log dates to 1819. Also, there was a print published by Ingrey & Madeley circa 1825. There seems little doubt that the figure is indeed Lubin Log personified.
And just when it was all settled in my mind, I found this in my archive!
The same figure form, titled Paul Pry. Paul Pry was yet another of Liston's roles. I can only conclude that the painter made a mistake. BTW, this figure is impressed SALT and can be seen among the other marked SALT figures here.
And here is another example. This one is from the V&A Collection. No title. But we know who it is!
And this lovely example is ready to join your collection. From the stock of Andrew Dando, where it is correctly described at John Liston in the role of Lubin Log.
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