Similar examples, but with scalloped or flat rims, are illustrated in Arnold R. Mountford, The Illustrated Guide to Staffordshire Salt-glazed Stoneware, figs. 153 and 154. Examples with the shell-moulded rims appear to be rarely found.
The smaller: There is a 1/4-inch chip to the shell edge issuing an approximate 1 inch haircrack running downwards and several pinhead chips to the rim egge. There are two small slice chips to the lower edge of the wall pocket formed as the beard of the mask, one to the exterior and the other to the back.
The larger: There are several very minor abrasions to the extremities of the mask faces and two pinhead chips to the rim edge on the back; otherwise in good condition. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.