This is a pair of hard paste porcelain vases, German, with an artist painted scene on the front of each vase showing what looks like a mountain lion or cougar hunting and bringing down a wild boar, with hunting dogs caught up in the fray. Well it looks like a cougar to me, with a face like a cat, the ears and the long tail, but I suppose it could be an odd-looking German dog of an undetermined breed. The date is the 19th century, circa 1890.
The vases are 9 ¾” high, 9 ½” long from handle-to-handle, and 3 ¼” wide or deep front-to-back. The top edge is reticulated. The handles are looped and angled. The bottom edge is curved. The bottom has a deep well. The gold trim is brassy bright with some fading and wear, mostly on the mouth and handles. The ground is magenta, which is a purple-pink color.
Each hunting scene is artist painted, though unsigned, as most pieces from this time period are not signed. The scenes take place in a winter woods and the ground is covered with snow and the trees are bare of leaves. The big animal taking down the wild boar (pig) in each scene really does look like a mountain lion to me, but I never heard of a mountain lion being around dogs. Either I am mistaken and the animal is a large dog, or the artist is trying to show dogs rushing in on a cougar’s kill in the snowy woods. The vase on the left, note two more dogs towards the back on the left, being cautious about their approach. The vase on the right, there is another dog on the far right.
The paintings are not a transfer nor are any part of the paintings a transfer. The scenes are entirely artist painted against bisque, or unglazed porcelain, with additional strokes of raised enamel.
The back side of each vase shows hand painted green grassy foliage with bell-like blue flowers.
The inside of the vases, the handles and the bottoms are glazed white. There are ash flecks in the glaze from the vases being fired in a wood burning kiln. There are additional glaze imperfections.
The bottom of each vase has an impressed number, difficult to read. These numbers are not dates. Porcelain factories used numbers as a way to catalog production.
The vases ring when tapped.
There are no nicks, chips, cracks or crazing. There is some wear to the gold trim and the magenta ground.