• Russian_Porcelain_Miniature_P7

This miniature “Pierrot Astride a Drum” is from the same lot as Porthos and the Voltigeur. I will go out on a limb and say that it was also made by the Russian Imperial Porcelain Factory.  Again, my task will be to prove or disprove this hypothesis.

The style and colouring of the base, the comparable level of detail and look of the porcelain under the foot are consistent with the Porthos (of which marked examples are known). The Porthos and the Pierrot look like they came from the same maker at the same time period. That would date this 1825 to 1855. I cannot say for certain until and as when a marked example turns up or I find a published example supporting the attribution. In any event, it is a rare survivor.

It can be hard when you look at photographs to realize how small these sculptures are, especially when they are detailed just as precisely as larger sculptures. This one has a height of 5.2 cm or just slightly over 2 inches.

A significant amount of labour was expended in the creation of this figure. It was a luxurious and costly item in its day.

It’s no surprise the drumstick has not fared as well as the rest of the sculpture considering how fine it must have been. Such a tiny protrusion is almost certainly doomed. The porcelain ribbon connecting the hat to the collar is as thin and fine a strand of porcelain as you will ever see. If the drumstick was as fine as that it wouldn’t have taken but one mishandling to break it off.

Again, the beauty of this piece was hidden under dark layers of grease and soot. In a way, the grime is related to the survival of this lot. They took on the patina by sitting undisturbed for many decades. Had they been handled more they might not have survived as well as they have.

Will I ever find the proof to support my hypothesis or come upon the evidence that proves it wrong? Can’t say. Just going to keep on looking.