This rare 19th century German Westerwald stoneware vase has been made in the form of a tall boot. The piece features a classical mythology motif consisting of 3 large blue and cream relief medallions which reference 3 of the 12 Labors of Hercules. The remainder of the exterior is covered with cream colored vines and leaves set against a black ground. The life-sized boot has been modeled with realistic elements including what appear to be sagging wrinkles at the ankle, mimicking the appearance of leather. The square-toed boot has striped detail on its stacked heel and rests on a large oval plinth with a repeating linear pattern located around the sides.
The largest medallion is located at the front of the boot and depicts the second of Hercules' 12 Labors in which Hercules and his nephew Iolaus kill the Lernean Hydra by cutting off all of the monster's heads and burning the neck using a sword and fire. The medallion at the right is decorated with first of the 12 Labors in which Hercules slays the Nemean Lion while the opposite medallion depicts the fourth of the 12 Labors in which Hercules captures the Erymanthian Boar. The top of the foot is finished with mirror images of Hercules' Armor along with additional vines and leaves.
This highly collectible antique molded stoneware boot vase is in very good condition with no repairs. There are some production related anomalies present including minor glaze discoloration and firing cracks, the most notable of which is located on the inside sole of the foot. There is also some age-related crazing to the glaze. These issues do not detract from the appearance of the piece and are mentioned for accuracy. The boot stands 16.5" tall and is 9.625" by 4.625" at the base. The underside is impressed with the number 918. The piece weighs in at 7lbs 1oz.
This striking Historismus boot vase displays beautifully and has an exceptional level of detail. It would be a great addition to a collection of 19th century stoneware, or works equally well as a stand alone decorative accent. A fantastic antique find!
19th Century German Westerwald Relief Molded Stoneware Historismus Boot Vase Labors of Hercules Motif