Victorian Staffordshire figures often reflected idealized country life. In the case of this pair of 19th century figures, the children are feeding their donkeys after the large baskets were filled with the day’s harvest.
In the left-hand figure, the young girl is holding up part of her dress filled with tasty green tidbits for her donkey. She is in the period costume of a loose pink dress and orange shoes with white socks. Her hair is long and combed in back as it hangs around her neck. Her face was finely modeled with eyebrows, eyelids and pink lips. The donkey was also well-modeled, with much detail to the face and ears. Both sides of this figure were modeled to they could be placed in the center of a table. The basket weaves are readily seen.
The right-hand figure features a young lad wearing a pink waistcoat with an orange tie, a collared shirt and white trousers with cuffs that allow a pair of white socks to show through. He also is feeding his donkey some vegetable with a green leaf. The boy’s face is also finely modeled with eyebrows, eyelids, a pleasant mouth, and a well-cared for head of hair. The donkey’s face is detailed with long ears, a long nose, wide eyes and a long, dark tail. There also is a large basket beneath the donkey in a pretty salmon color that contains the fruits of the field.
The figures face each other and are in similarly-colored costumes; a true pair, which is rare in itself. They are also large Staffordshire figures that are easily seen wherever they are placed. Both also were originally made in the factories as more expensive figures because of the amount of separate legs, not only on the children but on the donkeys as well. This type of modelling was expensive to produce but resulted in finer and decorative figures.
The condition is excellent for both figures. I have had both professionally restored.
Each substantial figure measures about 8-1/4 inches wide, 8 inches high, and 4-3/4 inches deep.
Victorian Pair of Staffordshire Donkeys with Children