This is a delightful little antique pearlware figurine that is entitled: The Tithe Pig.
What a strange title: let me explain it to you.
In England in the early 19th century, everyone was required to give a certain portion of their income (typically 10%) to their local church. These payments, called tithes, would have been made by farmers in the form of crops or animals such as pigs and were the source of the local Church of England clergyman's income. It was a practice that was carried out for centuries and by the time that this figurine was made - it was becoming a very contentious one.
This little figure was made with some humour - and the farmer's wife is not just handing over the farm's produce but also one of her ten children which looks like a little piggie! hence the comical title the Tithe Pig.
Here we see a Farmer Hob and his wife handing over their tithe to the local church minister - dressed in black to the right-hand side of the group.
They stand in front of a tree with little bocage details forming the leaves and blooms on the canopy behind them. The farmer holds a little brown piglet in his arm and a bottle in the other. His wife holds a baby in her arms. At their feet is a yellow basket full of eggs (the basket handle is intact and has never been broken; the handle is often lost!) two little brown pigs are on the ground next to the basket.
My figurine is in good antique condition - dating to the early part of the 19th century. No obvious damages and fine paintwork as you can see in all my photographs.
It is very sweet - measuring 5 3/4 inches in height - with a width of 5 inches and depth of 3 1/2 inches.
Nice piece and fair price - given its condition. Looks lovely on display in a period interior.
Of course, this is a genuine antique piece and not a later reproduction.