A look at the design, market and legacy of Victorian pottery

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Majolica Squirrels

As poor a reputation as rodents have, they are well represented in majolica. More often than not, rodents play a supporting role to other animals like cats and birds but sometimes they shine on their own.

The most commonly found rodent in majolica is probably the squirrel. Present in designs by Fielding, Sarraguemines, Lonitz, Minton George Jones and countless unnamed potters the squirrel is, as Carrie Bradshaw says, "a rat with a cuter outfit." Who has not seen the George Jones or Minton squirrel nut dishes or one of the many unmarked copies of them? They fill antique stores from coast to coast. A natural form for serving nuts they are always accompanied by a tray with leaves and/or flowers.

Minton majolica nut tray
George Jones double nut server
The much copied George Jones nut server
Round George Jones nut server
Unmarked majolica nut tray
Antique copy of the George Jones squirrel nut tray

Both Lonitz and Minton made life sized squirrel figures in majolica.

Lonitz majolica squirrel vase
Minton squirrel wall pocket
Of course squirrels appeared in other context as well. The French made majolica squirrel pitchers.

Fielding made two pitchers with squirrel decoration

There are also numerous representations of squirrels on vases.

Minton squirrel vase

There are squirrel figurals to sit on your shelf.

Lonitz majolica squirrel figure
Lonitz majolica squirrel figure group
George Jones majolica figure

And a squirrel creamer to match the Minton flat iron teapot.

Minton squirrel cream pitcher
There are squirrel plates and banks and teapots

So if you thought rodents weren't something you'd want sitting on your table or your shelf, remember the majolica squirrel!

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