Saturday, September 29, 2012

The object of the day: Wombwell's Menagerie

Wombwell's Menagerie, 19th century Staffordshire pottery
Pearlglazed earthenware with overglaze painted decoration
14 5/8 inches
In private collection

Wombwell's Menagerie was a travelling circus that doubled up as a zoo between performances, travelling the length and breadth of the country. In 1835 it visited Wolverhampton and it is possible that Stoke potters made the trip south to see the extraordinary assembly of caged, wild beasts and were inspired to model them. traditionally, these groups depicting the Menagerie are attributed to the factory of Obadiah Sherratt, who is also credited with a number or arbour groups showing subjects such as The Blacksmith of Gretna Green and the Tithe Pig, and The Teetotallers and Dr Syntax, an 18th century caricature of a cleric. Sherratt's work is rare and keenly sought after both in Europe and America. 

Price could reach £10,000 - 15,000

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