ANTIQUE MINTON PARIAN FIGURE OF DOROTHEA
Height: 14 inches / 35.5 cm
Width: 7 inches / 17.8 cm
Depth: 6.5 inches / 16.5 cm
Stock number: 016480/0121
Antique Minton parian figure of Don Quixote’s “Dorothea”, the figure with the impressed mark for John Bell and the date lozenge 1847. The figure is known as Dorothea from the Cervantes novel Don Quixote and was commissioned in 1838 as a life size sculpture in marble. Parian ware models were made by Minton from 1845 and were sold at the Great Exhibition for 2 guineas in 1851, a huge sum at that time. There is no Minton mark on the base, but it clearly shows John Bell along with the date lozenge.
During the 1840s a new hard, white unglazed porcelain, known as “statuary porcelain” and later as “Parian” from its marble-like quality, was first produced by Spode. It was acclaimed as the ideal material for ornamental figures and sculptures, and it became one of the great successes of Victorian ceramic art.
Minton produced some of the finest examples of Parian ware, a marble-like unglazed porcelain body developed during the 1840s and used most successfully for sculptural pieces. John Bell, the American Hiram Powers, and Albert Carrier de Belleuse were among the sculptors who produced statuary for Minton; scaled-down models of larger pieces by contemporary and past sculptors were also produced in Parian, and sometimes the material was used in combination with glazed and painted bone china for display pieces.