Cymon and Iphigenia
These figures portray Cymon and his beloved, Iphigenia. In 1700, John Dryden published their story as a poem in his Fables, Ancient and Modern. The tale has ancient roots for Cymon is the hero of The Decameron, a novella by Giovanni Boccaccio written in around 1350. The narrative tells that Cymon’s aristocratic father considers him a dolt and sends him to live and work with his slaves in the countryside. In this environment, Cymon becomes increasingly coarse. One day, he comes upon highborn Iphigenia, slumbering in a field. He is so smitten by her beauty that his noble bearing surfaces, and his father reinstates him. Iphigenia is promised to another, but this tale of wars and abduction in the name of love ends happily with Cymon and Iphigenia united for life.
Ralph Wood introduced these figure models into the Potteries in the 1780s. Shortly after, Ralph Wedgwood, a plagiarist extraordinaire, copied them, apparently using the same molds. This pair, titled SIMON and IPHIGENIA in a manner that is typical of Wedgwood, was made circa 1795. The figures have an impressive presence, with Simon standing 9.5 inches tall.
More Figures of the month
This is a rare figure of Victor Emmanuel II, the King of Sardinia and later the first King of Italy. The figure is titled with gold accented raised capitals, stands approximately 12 3/4” tall, and dates to about 1855. It is probably a Crimean war figure, with Emmanuel being shown in military uniform.
This is a rare figure of Bluebeard and Fatima, approximately 12 1/2” tall, dating to 1858. Bluebeard is easily recognized with his blue beard. He stands upright with a knife in his right hand and left hand on his hip. Fatima is kneeling before Bluebeard with eyes cast upward toward him, hands folded in a prayer-like position.
This is a very rare figure of Napoleon Bonaparte, approximately 8 ¼” tall, dating to about 1840. He stands with arms crossed next to a pedestal with a cloak draped over it. The base is decorated with an interesting marble effect, and it bears the title “N”.
What an interesting figure of a fox and monkey, 4 3/4” tall. The figure is rare and probably represents one of Aesop’s Fables called “The Fox and the Monkey”.
It is circa 1840, partially painted in the round, and has a solid base.
This is an interesting figure of a man and a woman, 7 ½” tall. It would be unremarkable if not for the head peering out from behind the man’s left leg.
This is a very rare figure of a woman in full length dress and a floral headband, standing 8 ½” tall. She holds a wand in her right hand and a posy in her left.