Here is a splendid pair of biscuit porcelain figures, marked on the bottom and corresponding to model number 8 in the Derby factory’s list of figures. The detail is overwhelming. Everywhere you look you can see a tiny marvel of sculptural accuracy, and every time you look again you see another wonderful detail perfectly proportioned. They are only five inches high and pure white, without any covering of glaze to smooth over the knife-edge petals of the flowers or the sharpness of a button. Both the boy and the girl are seated. He holds a basket overflowing with fruit, and she holds a basket of fresh flowers. I took a photo of the top of her hat so you could see the workmanship that went into it. Every view of these figures bring a fresh sense of wonder at the craftsmanship and artistry. Look at the lace around her bodice and the bottom of her skirt. Look at the tiny flower petals in the basket—some with stamens modeled in. Not to be outdone, the lad has lace cuffs and collar, with the tiniest little buttons on the pocket of his coat, his vest and his trousers. All these details were added by hand. (The workers must have had very tiny hands!) Derby developed this soft white porcelain so that it was able to maintain the most delicate of details, and this pair shows what could be achieved. The artist at Derby created this pair based on a set of Meissen figures by Acier. They are mentioned in the Derby sales lists as early as 1771. The condition is excellent, with only several small chips to the leaves and petals, and she has lost part of one index finger, as close to perfect as one could expect after 250 years!
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