: , 19th C. Item #01067
Parian Bust of Shakespeare. 9" tall nineteenth-century Parian bust of William Shakespeare.
Occasional light scattered flyspots and minimal areas of slight discoloration, as expected on English Parian busts of this age. A short linear fissure in the lower neck area which is not a crack, but which occurred in the making. A fine example.
Parian, a "highly vitrified version of soft paste porcelain, was invented in the Staffordshire potteries and first advertised for sale by Copeland and Garrett in 1842. Their claim to have originated this substance was disputed by other firms, particularly by John Mountford of the Minton factory who claimed that he had been working on perfecting a similar material for many years and had released it at the same time…
"…The main desire had been to find a ceramic that would imitate the Paros marble used for classical sculpture in the Greek and Roman cultures. Parian was ideally suited for this and from the very first piece made, a copy of the Duke of Sunderland’s marble ‘Apollo as the shepherd boy of Admetus’, this was to be its major use. It was known as 'Statuary Porcelain'…
"…Parian was eagerly accepted into the public taste and quickly became very popular both here and in our tradition markets of the USA, Canada, and Australia.. Similar high quality classical and domestic designs were being produce by John Rose at Coalport, Mountford, Meigh and Sons and Alcock in the potteries and numerous other potteries throughout Britain. But so intense was the publics desire that they were also joined by many lesser factories who failed to get the same smoothness of body and fineness of intricate detail. Many of these ‘lesser’ factories left their work unmarked but, unfortunately for the collector, so was much of the quality work from the major factories.
"Statuary Parian was in constant production through until the 1870s and then declined rapidly in popularity as fashions changed. It continued in production in limited quantities by the larger factories and is still being used today but its heyday was definitely confined to the mid 1800s. It was a peculiarly Victorian phenomenon" (Antique British Ceramics, An Introduction to Parian).