These kittens are cute!
This is a French hard paste porcelain bisque, or biscuit, Parian figurine or figural piece. The date is the 19th century, circa 1880.
The porcelain factory is unknown. The piece is not marked.
The estate used the figurine as a desk item, a holder for their pens, as the open part of the boot is a space to hold items, or it can be used as a vase.
The boot is 5" high to the top of the kitten's head, 6 ½" long and 2 ¼" wide.
Bisque porcelain is unglazed porcelain. The older pieces, because of the years of exposure to temperature and humidity fluctuations will get some cracks, and this is because it is bisque and not glazed. This piece has air holes drilled into it, and there is an age crack running from one air hole on the kitten sitting upright inside the boot. I show the crack on a close-up photo and point to the flaw with a red arrow. The kitten on the right has the tip of its ear missing and I show this flaw in a close-up photo also. These are the normal signs of wear on the bisque pieces, and it is typical for figurine dogs and cats and horses from this time period to have damage to the ears. This interesting figurine is in remarkable shape for its age.
The boot is a lace-up, the kind where the laces pull up around rivets to tighten. There is a kitten inside the boot, just the top half of a kitten, and another kitten on the toe of the boot. Look at the close-up photos showing the kittens' faces – they are so adorable!
There are no chips, cracks or other flaw, other than what I already mentioned. There is a bit of separation at the back of the upright kitten, between the kitten and the boot, and this is not a crack.
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