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    Sale 5355

    Christie's Interiors - Oak Edition

    20 May 2008, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 249


    CIRCA 1830

    Price Realised  


    CIRCA 1830
    Of Sherratt-type, modelled with musicians and showmen in front of the entrance to the menagerie and below an advertising canvas moulded with an elephant, lions and monkeys and inscribed WOMBWELLS MENAGERIE, on shaped rectangular footed base
    12¾ in. (32.3 cm.) high

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    Cf. Pat Halfpenny, English Earthenware Figures, 1740-1840 (Suffolk, 1991), p. 236, pl. 69 and p. 274, for examples of Wombwell's menagerie groups.

    See also Reginald Haggar, Staffordshire Chimney Ornaments (London, 1955), for a discussion of Polito's menagerie, another travelling circus of the early nineteenth century. There are many similarities in the Polito and Wombwell table-base groups and it is suggested that after Polito's death in 1814, the potters adapted this model slightly to do service for Wombwell.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
    This lot will be removed to an off-site warehouse at the close of business on the day of sale - 2 weeks free storage

    Pre-Lot Text

    George Wombell's menagerie began travelling around Britain in about 1807. The arrival of a travelling menagerie to a town would have caused great excitement, as it would have been a rare chance for people to see live wild animals.
    Wombell was so successful that by his death in 1850, there were three different menageries on tour at any one time. His family continued the business and the last of the Wombwell menagaries closed in 1884.