This is a French Old Paris hard paste porcelain figurine of a dog with a circus monkey on his back dating to the 18th century. The maker is Vincent Dubois, which became part of La Courtille, in business in Paris from 1771 to 1840, and specializing in hard paste porcelain. Vincent Dubois founded a factory known as Aux Trois Leverettes and became known for his models of hunting dogs. He also liked creating monkeys. This figure has both animals.
The figure is 7"high, 5 3/8" long and 2 ¾" wide. The dog appears to be a large breed dog, perhaps of the mastiff or shepherd family, or maybe even a hunting hound dog. Another possibility is a Great Dane. The dog's coloring is brown and black against white. The circus monkey is perched on top of the canine, and the animal is dressed in red and blue with a plumed hat, like a soldier or army officer, and the color of his clothing is enameled. Around the waist, (do monkey's have waists?) is belted a black scabbard for a curved sword or scimitar, which the ape is clutching in his left paw or hand. The base of the figure is done with the German Meissen influence of applied flowers in pastel colors of pink, blue and red, with yellow middle. Up the middle of the figure, below the dog's belly, is a trunk with applied green leaves on one side.
The figure is very old so there are some defects. 1) The applied flowers have chips and nicks, with some missing some petals. 2) The figure has accumulated grime on it, and I did not clean it because of the advanced age. 3) The applied green leaves have roughness and some black residue of something or other. 4) The ear showing a bit of white at the tip may have some damage at that ear point. 5) There is some color fading and wear. 6) The tip of the sword where it rests on the monkey's shoulder is blunt, rather than pointed, so perhaps the tip broke off. 7) The very bottom edge is rough from glazing and tiny nicks.
The underglaze blue mark is on the top of the base, to the right of the dog, and it is two crossed lines or bolts with feathered ends. Between the two lines, very tiny and difficult to see, is a blue L.
I've had a few collectors who have told me the figurine is very much a Vincent Dubois, similar to the pieces in their collection, and similar to the pieces they have seen in museums. I purchased the figurine from an antique shop in Paris and it was sold to me as being La Courtille - Vincent Dubois.
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