Yellow Garage dealer Ron Adams Antiques presents an exceptionally rare glazed redware lion standing proudly atop a captured bird. This beautifully sculpted figure is of Pennsylvania origin and was originally designed to be a child’s toy. It likely dates from the last half of the 19th Century. A number of Pennsylvania potters produced these figural redware toys with the most famous being the Bell family in Waynesboro. The sculpted figure measures 4 1\2” tall and 6” along the base. This hand modeled whimsy lion figure has an open mouth with a drooping tongue, a long tail spanning the length of his back and its front paw on top of a highly detailed spread winged bird. The mane, haunches and the tip of the tail have heavily incised fur. The lion has artistically sculpted details in the face and muzzle which include impressed round eyes, eyebrows and pupils and incised upper and lower teeth. Original vent holes are in the back of the lion and ears to help ensure he survived the firing process. There is a faint rattle when the figure is shaken. The lion’s prey bird has an impressed circular eye and heavily incised feathers on the wings, breast and tail. The base is impressed with an elaborate floral border surrounding a central flower blossom. These impressions are often unique to a particular potter and are often used to help identify a figure’s age and maker. The surface of the figure is decorated with manganese highlights throughout and covered with a heavy lead glaze. The figure has a golden hue with darker highlights accentuating the prominent facial features and body details. The result is a most dramatic pose and intense facial expressions on the “King of Beasts” and his prey. This hand crafted model is in excellent condition especially considering it spent most of its life as a child’s toy. There is a small crack (pictured) at the base of the tail and the other pictures provide additional descriptions of this museum quality piece. Hand crafted Pennsylvania redware figures from this period are extremely rare and highly collectable. This expressive lion posed atop his prey is one of the finest examples of figural redware pottery we have ever seen.
Exceptionally Rare Antique Pennsylvania Hand Sculpted Redware Lion on Prey Figural