This is a rare antique figurine by Schafer & Vater which takes the form of a bottle or whisky flask.
The bottle is made of porcelain with a stoneware finish and is beautifully modelled with crisp details.
The bottle takes the form of a maid dressed in her uniform and wearing her stiff cotton pleated hat (which to me looks a little like the feather headdress worn by a Native American chief). It is certainly very dramatic.
Her face is just so fine and I love her cheeky smile. She carries a little Cairn Terrier (a popular breed in the 1920s) under one arm and in her other arm she holds a tray with a tiny bottle on it marked: SCOTCH WHISKY and two wee cups. A more unusual issue as the words are usually shown on her dress and not on the bottle she carries.
Some of these models were coloured with polychrome colours - but this one is a mock stoneware effect to the glaze.
The stopper for the bottle is on the back of the figure on the maid's head, as photographed.
It is now about 100 years old and in excellent condition - no chips, cracks, damages or restorations.
Dimensions: Height is 9 inches.
This model does not come up for sale that often - and my asking price for it is certainly a fair one.
HISTORY: The company was founded by a Gustave Schaefer and Guenther Vater in Germany in 1890. By 1896 the business was so successful that they were able to expand to the List Porcelain Factory at Neuhaus.
The company aimed at producing high-quality items in hard-paste porcelain - and it made luxury items, including figurines and dolls' heads. They also produced a range of soft-paste porcelain items such as small liquor bottle which were distributed in pubs etc.
Schafer & Vater were better known for their comical and figural items. They manufactured these in teapots, jugs, creamers, bottles, match strikers, and planters, with a backstamp impressed with a crown above an 'R' in a star. 'Made in Germany' was sometimes stamped in black. Occasionally, Schafer & Vater pieces appear without any stamps or reference to their origin, but they are easy to recognise due to their characteristics and unique craftsmanship and unusual design.
Their wonderful novelty figures were always very popular in the States - and by 1910 the American firm of Sears Roebuck & Co began to import and distribute Schafer & Vater pottery items.
In 1913 Paul Schafer had taken over from his father and, working alongside Gunther Vater, built up a successful workforce of around 200 people. In 1918 the factory was destroyed by fire and they set up a new factory to resume production.
Sadly, the firm closed in 1962 and in1972 the East German government assumed full control of the vacant factory and their records and moulds were destroyed - so no further figures could be produced.
A hallmark of this pottery is the fine texture of the clay used in production. Mined locally, it was rich with kaolin and this resulted in a product with a velvety texture and very fine grain.