MacDougall's Russian Art Auctions 25 March 2015

25 March 2015

Artist Index / Full Catalogue

A Porcelain Group of a Shepherd and His Dog

* 44.

A Porcelain Group of a Shepherd and His Dog

3,000—5,000 GBP

Height 24 cm.

with a red manufactory stamp

Shepherds making music and ladies with gallants, elegant court musicians and other prominent characters in porcelain are not simply allegories for the sense of hearing, symbols of love or exuberant festivity – they are vivid images of the époque galante, an expression of its tastes and predilections that were so attractive in the mid-19th century. Inspired by European models, such subjects quickly became an integral element in the range of objects produced by Russian porcelain manufactories. Excellent manufacturing and decorative qualities of the Popov models are apparent in the figure of a young shepherd playing his pan pipes.

The shepherd is portrayed sitting on his low mound. A little confidant sits at his feet attentively observing master’s soulful mood. This “best friend” is depicted in the form of an ancient symbol of faithfulness – a pet dog. The constant companions of shepherds were every possible kind of horn, pipe and pan flute, which were regarded as a phallic symbol. At the same time, a lone shepherd with pan pipes personified lyrical poetry.

The piece, painted by an unknown craftsman, displays a high degree of artistic professionalism, with the apparent master miniaturist successfully combining meticulous stippling and the finest brushwork and gilding.

Notes on symbols:
* Indicates 5% Import Duty Charge applies.
Ω Indicates 20% Import Duty Charge applies.
§ Indicates Artist's Resale Right applies.
† Indicates Standard VAT scheme applies, and the rate of 20% VAT will be charged on both hammer price and premium.