This outstanding 13.5" tall turn of the century neoclassical porcelain figural group was made by the Carl Thieme manufactory in Dresden, Germany and is modeled after an ancient Greek marble statue held in the collections of the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. The group depicts the Greek goddess Hera (known by the Romans as Juno) with her sacred bird, the peacock. The relationship between Hera and the peacock originates in Greek legend which relates the story of how the male peacock came by the distinctive "eyes" found on its tail feathers. According to the legend, Hera bestowed the peacock with multiple eyes as a reward to her faithful servant Argus Panoptes. Argus Panoptes - a giant known as "All-Seeing" - was a being with 100 eyes, and this unique physical characteristic was the impetus behind Hera's gesture.
The detailed porcelain sculpture depicts Hera standing on a mounded plinth studded with molded flowers. The male peacock is beside her with its tail feathers spread on display, showcasing its trademark eyes. Hera wears a flowing floral patterned garment beneath long colorful robes that fall in folds to her bare feet. There is a golden diadem in her dark upswept hair and a golden circlet around the upper part of her left arm. Hera's right hand supports a long golden scepter that leans up against her chest.
The piece is in very good original condition with no repairs. As an antique, the item shows signs of age consisting of some minor losses to the applied floral decoration and a nick to the end of the peacock's beak. As seen in the accompanying photographs, this issue does not detract from the appearance of the piece and is mentioned for accuracy. The piece stands 13.5" tall and is 6" at its widest point and 5" at its deepest point. The underside bears the Carl Thieme cobalt blue underglaze mark while the side bears a hand-painted number that appears to read "5977". The piece also retains its original paper label from Rike's, a defunct high-end store that was based in Dayton, Ohio. The figural group weighs in at 3lbs 13oz.
This striking Potschappel Dresden Carl Thieme Hera and Peacock figural group displays beautifully and would be a wonderful addition to a collection of fine antique porcelain or works equally well showcased on its own. A lovely antique find!
Antique Neoclassical Potschappel Dresden Carl Thieme Porcelain Figural Group Hera and the Peacock