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Animal sculpture - Tiger with Buck by Skeaping - c.1935

Tiger and buck figure, ©  Wedgwood Museum
    Tiger and buck figure
    © Wedgwood Museum

Described in a Wedgwood 1930s advertising brochure as an artist who ‘…is well known for his drawings and engravings’ John Rattenbury Skeaping in 1926 modelled a series of fourteen sculptural animal figures for the factory, ten of which, including the dramatic tiger and buck, went into production at the end of 1927. The same subject was also revived in Queen’s ware in 1987.

John Skeaping was one of Britain’s foremost sculptors, and his work is represented in many distinguished collections. In the 1920s Skeaping was commissioned by Wedgwood to model a series of animal subjects in the art deco style. These figures were so successful that they were produced as late as the 1950s, and six of the subjects including this dramatic model of the tiger and buck were again revived in 1987. Skeaping was also a prize-winner in the international competition of 1930 to design a vase to commemorate the bicentenary of Josiah Wedgwood’s birth.

  • Type of object: Portraits and figures/figurine
  • Mark: (unmarked)
  • Year produced: c.1935
  • Body: Queen's ware, cream-coloured earthenware
  • Glaze: Moonstone
  • Material: ceramic
  • Decoration: glazed
  • Accession number: 8916
  • Dimensions: 187 mm (height), 135 mm (width), 115 mm (depth)

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Related people

  • John Skeaping Modeller

    John Skeaping - Modeller (1901 - 1980)

    John Rattenbury Skeaping was born in Essex in 1901 and studied at Blackheath School of Art. Eventually he became a scholar at the Royal Academy School, and in 1924, he won the Prix de Rome. During his three years in Rome he married the sculptress Barbara Hepworth.On his return to England in 1926 he was introduced to Frank Wedgwood, and on visiting the old Etruria factory site, was commissioned to model a series of animal studies for which he was paid £100. The series consisted of 14 models - ten of which eventually went into production at the end of 1927. The subjects include 'Tiger and Buck; 'Fallow Deer', 'Polar Bear' and 'Monkeys'.The models themselves were produced in Queen’s ware, Black Basalt and also exhibited a variety of matt and coloured glazes including Moonstone. Skeaping died in France in 1980.


  • Queen’s ware

    Queen’s ware

    In 1765 Wedgwood provided a tea and coffee service to Her Majesty Queen Charlotte (wife of George III) in the new earthenware body he had recently perfected. She was so pleased with the set that she not only allowed Josiah to style himself ‘Potter to Her Majesty’, she also allowed him to call his new earthenware ‘Queen’s ware’ - a name by which Wedgwood’s cream coloured earthenware is still known today.

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