58
58

PROPERTY OF A LADY

A rare Derby dry-edge chinoiserie white group of 'Hearing' from the series of the five Senses, circa 1752-55
Estimate
5,0007,000
LOT SOLD. 81,250 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
58

PROPERTY OF A LADY

A rare Derby dry-edge chinoiserie white group of 'Hearing' from the series of the five Senses, circa 1752-55
Estimate
5,0007,000
LOT SOLD. 81,250 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

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A rare Derby dry-edge chinoiserie white group of 'Hearing' from the series of the five Senses, circa 1752-55
probably modelled by Agostino Carlini, as an old man seated on rocks, listening intently as a young woman in exotic robes plays a musical instrument raised above his head,
21.5cm., 8 1/2 in. high
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Provenance

The property of O. J. R. Brookman, Esq., sold Sotheby's London, 8th October 1946, lot 76;
Christie's London, 5th June 1978, lot 138

Literature

John Twitchett, Derby Porcelain, 1980, p. 33, pl. 15

Catalogue Note

Since these groups of the Chinoiserie Senses are very rare, and in several examples the musical instrument in her hand is in any case missing, this group has in the past confused the cataloguer and was often thought to represent 'Sight' rather than 'Hearing'. The presence of a trumpet in two examples (and a parrot in another!), as well as the concentration in the man's expression, make it clear that this is indeed Hearing. Sight exists in only one example, now in the British Museum.

Examples of this group are to be found in the Untermeyer collection at the Metropolitan Museum New York; in the Victoria and Albert Museum and in the British Museum, while four others are in private hands. Two examples in the white of the present group, and lot 59, Smell, are illustrated by Franklin A. Barrett and Arthur L. Thorpe, Derby Porcelain 1750-1848, 1971, pls. 17 and 17.

All the Derby dry-edge figures of Senses are rare, and rank among the masterpieces of English porcelain. This celebrated series of figures was once described by Arthur Lane as '... among the most impressive and original of early English porcelain figure-models.', English porcelain figures of the 18th century, 1961, p. 98.

Formerly attributed to Andrew Planché, these Derby groups of the Senses have recently been attributed by John Mallett on stylistic grouunds to Carlini; see his article, Agostino Carlini and Dry-Edge Derby, British Ceramic Design 1600-2002, Ed. by Tom Walford and Hilary Young, 2003, pp. 42-57. The expression 'dry-edge' for these early Derby figures refers to the habitual careful wiping away of the glaze from the bases, leaving an unglazed edge. It is a distinguishing mark of the earliest period of the factory, before the change to firing on small raised pads, leaving the characteristic 'patch marks' of the post 1756 period.

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