A rare pair of Regency alabaster sculptures of a bull and cow, by John Mawe, early 19th c, on Ashford black marble base, 23cm l
Born in Derby, John Mawe (1766-1829) has a claim to be the most extraordinary mineralogist of the Regency. Trading from 6 'Museums' in Carsington, Derby, Matlock Bath, Cheltenham and London, he dealt in British and foreign mineral specimens, Derbyshire Spar (Blue John) and worked stone, such as the present highly accomplished models.
He was also an excellent self-publicist, publishing geological texts, guides for the amateur collector, keen to furnish their minerals cabinet, and also travel writing.
Such detailed models of domestic livestock attracted the discerning or learned purchaser, interested in the improvements in husbandry and breeding then being pursued in England. In this, Mawe's sculptures can be considered in the same light as the famous plaster casts of sculptures of livestock designed by his near contemporary George Garrard ARA (1760-1826) and sold from his 'Agricultural Museum' in Hanover Square, London.
Another pair of Mawe's alabaster cattle models, one of which retains a fragment of Mawe's printed trade label, was recently with markjonesantiques.co.uk
The collection of C. W. Briggs (1906-1971) (lots 1-429)
Cow - front part of head broken off and restuck, lacking horns, forepart of right leg broken off and restuck.
Bull - lacking horns, forepart of left leg broken off and restuck, lacking approx 1cm section of tail, both with old settled dust and grime