Wemyss Pottery Piglet, ca. 1900
This is a pig that we inherited from my husband's family. His grandmother and grandfather originally came from Scotland, and my husband is the first generation here. And one uncle that we know of emigrated to South Africa. This pig came from South Africa, and the story is that it was a memento from the Boer War.
This is really most interesting, because I think we have to say that this little guy here on the table is an extremely well-traveled animal.
It truly is.
It strikes me that he is certainly Scottish pottery made on the east coast of Scotland in a little town called Kilcody in Fifeshire, by the firm of Robert Heron & Son, otherwise known as Wemyss pottery. This is pottery that is seriously collected in England, even by members of the royal family. I'm also interested in the connection with the Boer War. The Boer War was one of England's skirmishes in the colonies that we had between about 1899 and 1902. And whilst I'm still somewhat puzzled by the inscription on this little piglet actually, the figure on the side that has been painted on I think could represent either two of the South African protagonists, who were Smuts and Bertha, representing the South African forces who were fighting Kitchener and Roberts on the English side. Wemyss also produced an enormous pig that most people ended up using as a doorstop. The piglet either is just simply a decorative object, or was designed as a piggy bank. However, your one is actually a spirit flask. And he's got this little cork stuffed in his snout. He looks a little uncomfortable with it, but I think we have a very rare piece. This is something that really, if you're going to sell it to the maximum advantage, you would have to sell it in Scotland. I would anticipate that this rare piece would possibly fetch between $3,000 and $3,500.
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