19th c. Grace Darling, National Hero UK Figural Fairing Figure in boat

  • £45.00


#AD301 Grace Darling Porcelain Statue

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 old original antique fairing depicts England's 19th century Victorian hero Grace Darling in her row boat:

Grace Horsley Darling 1815-1842 was the daughter of an English lighthouse keeper. She is famous for the 1838 rescue of many survivors from the shipwrecked ship Forfarshire off the coast of Northumberland with her father, which brought her much fame. She and her father were awarded the Silver Medal for bravery by the "Royal National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck", which was later became the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Queen Victoria even sent her £50. Charlotte Percy, Duchess of Northumberland had her moved nearby and tended to her personally in her death. She died of tuberculosis in 1842 at the age of 27.

After 1891, all imports and exports had to be marked with the country of manufacture of which this has none. This old original Continental fairing figurine is in very good condition. Other than firing imperfections, as seen in all fairings, she is intact and beautiful. There is a mark on bottom edge that may look like a crack in photo, it is not, simply the clay drying from the firing in manufacture. She was found in Totnes, Devon, England. 

Size: about 2.5 inches high by 2.5 inches wide
debra clifford antiques     Welcome! We have a 100% approval policy. Also visit Debra's other 2 sites: Ancestorville, with thousands of early signed vintage lost family photos of the 19th century for genealogy, and Vintage Poster Works, a vintage antique advertising site. email Debra with any questions here. We proudly use recycled packaging when we can.


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