Rare Uncle Tom & Eva, Anti-Slavery Staffordshire Flat Back 1852-55
Earthenware flat backs and figurines for domestic decoration were first produced in Staffordshire in the 1830s. Production continued throughout the Victorian period and into the early 20th century, produced in vast numbers usually modelled after popular prints, events and figures. This is a Staffordshire figure depicting Uncle Tom with Eva, each on a bale of cotton, Tom studying his bible and Eva full of unending cheerfulness. This figure was made following the popularity of the American novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe, ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly’. The anti-slavery novel had a profound effect on attitudes and helped to promote the abolition of slavery. this beautifully hand painted figure shows Eva perched on Tom's knee. The overglaze colours are carefully painted and the figure captures the affection between Tom and Eva very well . 'Uncle Tom' is embossed in raised lettering on the base of the figure. The novel 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' was important in arousing much sympathy for the slaves in the Southern States in the American civil war.
This is a wonderful and rare example of this genre of Staffordshire figures, it has an unusually dynamic quality and modelled with charm and empathy. It is hand painted with gilt accents. There is a maker/artists mark to the base, but is unidentified.
The figure has age related crazing and some minor loss to the enamel. It shows some firing cracks. The figure is 28.5cm tall.
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