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Figure group
  • Figure group
    Skeaping, John Rattenbury, born 1901 - died 1980
  • Enlarge image

Figure group

  • Place of origin:

    Etruria (made)

  • Date:

    1927 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Skeaping, John Rattenbury, born 1901 - died 1980 (designer)
    Josiah Wedgwood and Sons (manufacturers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cream-glazed earthenware, moulded in solid form

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Secretary of the British Institute of Industrial Art

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture, Room 21, The Dorothy and Michael Hintze Galleries, case 2

Physical description

Figure group, in cream-glazed earthernware of seven deer in the chase, in a strong Art Deco style.

Place of Origin

Etruria (made)


1927 (made)


Skeaping, John Rattenbury, born 1901 - died 1980 (designer)
Josiah Wedgwood and Sons (manufacturers)

Materials and Techniques

Cream-glazed earthenware, moulded in solid form


Height: 18.5 cm, Width: 26 cm, Depth: 9.5 cm, Weight: 1.24 kg

Object history note

one in a series of fourteen animal models designed by the sculptor Skeaping for Wedgwood

Historical context note

Designed in a stong Art Deco style, these mass produced figures allowed this aesthetic to enter the modest middle class town environment. It is very early for an Art Deco object in Great Britain.

Interest in small scale sculpture had grown markedly in Britain since the late nineteenth century. Some sculptors like Skeaping were keen to adapt their work to suit the mass-production requirements of the ceramic industry. Monochrome and moulded figure groups, were economic to produce and survived, while the more expensive hand-painted figures which were also popular in the 1920s declined, Skeaping's figures continued in production well into the 1950s. The continued popularity of these figures in interesting - they presumably fitted in to a watered-down Moderne in the 1930s and 40s. Skeaping was interested in Modernism, especially the work of Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, to whom Skeaping was married at the time.
[Susan McCormack, 'British Design at Home', p.112]

Descriptive line

Figure group, Axis deer, des. Skeaping, man. Wedgwood, 1927

Labels and date

Along with his wife Barbara Hepworth, and their contemporary Henry Moore, Skeaping was among a new generation of British sculptors who created works that were increasingly simplified and rhythmic. He was also interested in bringing modern sculpture to a wider market. This is one of fourteen animal studies that Skeaping designed for Wedgwood, ten of which went into production. [March 2007]
Figure 'Axis Deer'
Designed by John Skeaping, made by Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Ltd., Stoke-on-Trent, 1927

C.426-1934 Given by the artist [23/05/2008]





Subjects depicted





Ceramics Collection

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