This is a much rarer larger-sized religious Quimper / French pottery figurine. It is one of a small group of antique figures made in France that I have available in the online Iconic Edinburgh shop.
Quimper Faience (tin-glazed pottery) was produced near Quimper in Brittany in France. The pottery was first established in 1708. The decoration is all painted by hand.
It is an antique sculptural figure of Saint Barbe or Saint Barbara.
She relates to the start of the Christmas celebrations. The season officially begins on December 4th with the feast of St. Barbe and continues on through to Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve (St. Sylvestre), ending on the 6th January with the Epiphany or the Feast of the Three Kings.
My figure shows the Saint carrying her attribute of a tower. This relates to the tower in which she was imprisoned by her father who cruelly punished her for refusing to give up her Christian beliefs. Her father was responsible for beheading her for failure to comply with his will, He was punished by being struck down by a bolt of lightning.
Saint Barbara is the patron saint of miners, tunnellers, military engineers, gunsmiths, and people who use explosives and gunpowder.
I love this strange old French figurine. Barbara is depiected as a most sturdy figure - she carries in one hand a tower with three windows (representing the Holy Trinity) - a symbol of her imprisonment. In her other hand, she carries a martyr's palm.
She has a crown or coronet this is hollow inside and could be used as a candlestick by placing a pillar candle in here.
Her costume is painted with drab olive green shades and her cloak is lined with a mustard colour - she is an older example and must date to the second half of the 19th century.
Again, the figure is made of a light brown coloured pottery - and it looks like it has been made from pouring liquid clay into a mould. After the first firing of the figure - the sculpture is coated in a tin glaze - which is slighted grey-white in colour. The base is closed over and sealed with a round air hole - there is also a little airhole on the sculpture near her foot, as photographed.
This is certainly an attractive Quimper figurine; perfect for your display cabinet.
This is a really large and substantial figurine: she is 11 inches in height and has a base diameter of 4 inches.
Unpacked she is 850 grams.
A genuine piece dating to the late 19 century / early 20th century
It is unsigned - so hard to assess which Quimper factory or maker was involved in the production of this one.
Again, it is in good antique condition with no major damages. There is a little indentation to her cloak - which was created in the making and glazed over and painted brown - but there are no other issues. There is a little bit of age-related craquelure.
The rarity of this subject - and also her size and finer modelling is reflected in my higher price for this rare religious figure.
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