|Parian bust of 'The Bride' 1861|
It is a stunning piece of ceramic manufacture in a body called parian. The fabric folds seem almost real. In about 1845, Copeland's parian, then a new ceramic body, was described by sculptor John Gibson RA (1790-1866) as 'Decidedly the best material next to Marble'.
'The Bride' is also illustrated in 'Parian: Copeland's Statuary Porcelain' by Robert Copeland. There are several excellent books on parian ware but this has to be the go-to reference book about parian figures from the Spode factory. In it Robert Copeland explains that 'the original marble sculpture of this subject [The Bride] was executed by Raffaele Monti for the Duke of Devonshire and was known as the 'Statue Voilee'. Monti's figure also seems to be known by many other names on the web...
|'Statue Voilee' by Raffaele Monti now at Chatsworth House|
In 1871 another parian bust was made called 'The Mother'. This was also from an original marble sculpture by Raffaele Monti (1818–1881). It is interesting to see that negotiation was made directly with the well-known and revered sculptors for various parian figures from W. T. Copeland. Papers relating to the arrangements are in the Spode archive.
'The Mother' was sold as a companion to 'The Bride' - not a matching pair but two associated subjects usually referred to as 'Companions'.
|Parian bust of 'The Mother' c1871 in the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery|
|Parian bust of 'The Mother' from Copeland's book|
|Cover to Robert Copeland's excellent book on parian|
|Frontispiece of my copy of the book with Copeland's lovely dedication|