Terra-cotta Ceres and Pedestal
A fine terra-cotta figure of Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture, shown standing and gazing down at a sheaf of wheat at her feet, holding a bundle of wheat in her proper left arm, stamped “M.H. Blanchard”, the figure atop a terra-cotta square pedestal with laurel wreaths on all four sides, and rams heads at top corners, stamped “M.H. Blanchard Terra Cotta, Blackfriars Rd”, English, ca. 1860. 79 ins. high overall, 19.5 ins. wide, statue 52 ins. high; pedestal 28.5 ins. high, 20 ins. square.
Mark H. Blanchard operated a successful stoneware company on Blackfriars Road in London between 1839 and 1870. In 1839 (and again in 1843), Blanchard purchased several molds originally designed by the Coade manufactory (the earlier, celebrated stoneware firm), and thereafter continued to produce Coade designs long after the Coade company was defunct. Despite his apparent debt to the older firm, Blanchard established his own reputation as the next great maker of artificial stoneware. In 1851, Blanchard secured prizes at the Great Exhibition in London.
Barbara says, "I bought this in North Carolina far from its maker's location but we were elated to discover and decipher the marks on the statue and the pedestal. Ceres is in the midst of actually picking the wheat and is leaning down to do so".