The full title of this Portrait figure group is: "The Murder of Thomas Smith by William Collier". This well colored figure group was made by Sampson Smith about 1866. It is listed in Pugh's "Staffordshire Portrait Figures" as "rare and desirable". It's shown there on page G485, plate 27. It can also be found on the website of the Stoke-on-Trent- Museum.
This large (13") figure group depicts the murder. The man on the right is the poacher, William Collier. The man on the left is the landowner, Thomas Smith. The scene takes place underneath an arch of trees. Each man has a hand raised to the other's neck. Two dead game birds are at their feet and a dog is attacking Collier's right leg. Collier was arrested, found guilty of the murder, and hanged.
The figure is in excellent condition, with the only flaw being an in-the-making firing crack which can be seen on the back. There's no evidence of any repairs. It weighs almost 4 pounds.
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