This late-nineteenth/early 20th century earthenware pottery tobacco box is as decorative as it is functional. All four sides are done in raised work featuring horses, shrubbery, fences and stylized patterned borders. The horses are excellently sculpted and realistically portrayed either jumping, running or at rest.
The artist breathed life into the clay through his animated depictions of rural country life. The scenes continue around each side, with the corners sculpted to represent the bark of trees. It is easily opened by removing the top, which has been made to resemble wood bark.
The wonderful pottery box was created by the then-Austrian porcelain and earthenware firm of Wilhelm Schiller and Son between the year 1885 and the start of the First World War. (The town where it was located is now in the Czech Republic.) The company was originally founded in 1829 by Mr. Schiller as Schiller and Gerbing, but this firm dissolved and was renamed Wilhelm Schiller and Son in 1885. It was for years the most prolific manufacturer of majolica in Bohemia.
This piece has the company’s mark, “ws&s,” incised on the bottom.
The condition is excellent. I have had it professionally cleaned. There are no chips, hairlines, or other imperfections.
It measures 6-1/2 inches wide, 4 inches deep and 4-1/2 inches high.
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