A very impressive group honoring motherhood and the sacrifices involved in caring for children—several at one time! This outstanding example is eight inches high and nine inches across. One child nurses at her breast, a toddler lies asleep in the high chair, and a young lad is blowing bubbles to entertain his siblings. Everywhere you look in this sculptural figure something is going on, even from the back. The lifelike realism is amazing and the modeling is technically superb. The restrained use of color allows the white porcelain to shine through, accented here and there. This elaborate porcelain model is derived from the engraving Die gute Mutter by Laurent Cars and C. D. Jardinier, after the painting by Greuze. For a similar model and the engraved source see Siegfried Ducret, Keramik und Graphik, p. 215, nos. 420 and 422. Condition is very good. Her right hand seems to be a professional replacement and the high chair may have been reattached with no loss (the moss at the bottom of two legs show up under black light but not the other two, so it’s hard to figure that out). The end of the boy’s bubble pipe is a replacement, and there’s a repaired chip at the bottom corner of his frock coat. The little knob on the front corner of the cradle is also a replacement. Slight roughness on some edges, as you would expect, and a few spots of color have been touched up, but really in wonderful condition overall. This is a highly regarded figure, often illustrated in books on the best in 18th century porcelain. The Frankenthal mark on the bottom also gives the year it was made, 1778. You’ll note that extra supports were needed underneath so that the extra heavy figure didn’t collapse in the kiln.
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