Friday, February 8, 2013


"Zoological Sketches" 6.25 inch plate featuring a skunk!

Skunk Close-Up

"Zoological Sketches" mark. 

Source print for "Skunk" from "The Cabinet of Quadrupeds" by John Church, 1805
A few years ago I purchased a partial dinner service called "Zoological Sketches" made by Job Meigh & Son in Staffordshire around 1830.  Job Meigh wanted to capitalize on the zoo craze that was sweeping Great Britain after the opening of the London Zoological Gardens in 1828.  (Take a look at my post from January 19, 2013 for more information about the zoo.)  Lions, Tigers, elephants, zebras, kangaroos and many other animals surrounded by birds, scrolls and leaves graced each item in the  service.  All of the items sold well.  Except the skunk.  Even though it is quite a lovely skunk copied from the same source prints found in John Church's "The Cabinet of Quadrupeds" (1805), only one plate out of five found a home.   Oh well.

I am always interested in what the engraver copied from a source print.  The skunk is looking cautiously at the dog in the source print.  As you noticed, there is no dog on the plate.

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