1890's German made Victorian "Returning at 1 o'clock" Fairing Figure
A Victorian era china fairing is a small porcelain figure sold for a few pence, or given away as souvenirs at the very bustling and popular English country fairs from 1850-1914. As they were German made, production halted at the time of the start of WWI in Europe.
Fairings depict various British humorous scenes of domestic family life as well as 19th c. political, children and animal scenes. They have a small plinth or base with an early caption, which appears as beautifully handwritten in old copperplate script. Interestingly, they were once known as "bedpieces", as so many fairings show scenes that take place in the bedroom.
Fairings were also made for utilitarian purpose such as small boxes, match holders, strikers, watch holders and mirrors. They were sometimes manufactured in pairs, with each figure telling a part of the story. The earliest fairings from about 1850-1890 were made by the very prolific Conta & Boehme factory in Germany and exported to England. From 1890-1914 they were made by other manufactories and all are highly collected today.
This fairing depicts a scene of a husband bring thrashed on the backside by an angry wife with a slipper. The caption reads "Returning at One O'clock in the Morning" on the base front. Seemingly in ever trouble, there are other fairings of men flirting with maids and causing general Victorian era havoc to the marriage. This woman means business!
After 1891, all imports and exports had to be marked with the country of manufacture, and this piece has "Made in Germany" printed on the bottom. It was made from the 1890's till about 1914 by an unknown maker. This fairing is featured on page 23 of "Victorian China Fairings", by W.S. Bristowe, published by Adam and Charles Black in London in 1971. It is also pictured on page 135 of "Victorian China Fairings-The Collectors' Guide" by D.H. Jordan, published by the Antique Collectors' Club Ltd. in Suffolk, England in 2003.
This old original Continental fairing figurine has no chips, cracks or repairs and is in beautiful condition. It was found in Totnes, Devon, England. It's a beautiful old heavy German fairing in excellent condition. We love these, and think of them as folk art and a great collectible!
Size: 3.75 inches high by 3.75 inches wide
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