Figure Group thumbnail 1
Figure Group thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Figure Group

1927 (made)
Place of origin

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

Object details

Object type
Materials and techniques
Cream-glazed earthenware, moulded in solid form
Brief description
Figure group, Axis deer, des. Skeaping, man. Wedgwood, 1927
Physical description
Figure group, in cream-glazed earthernware of seven deer in the chase, in a strong Art Deco style.
  • Height: 18.5cm
  • Width: 26cm
  • Depth: 9.5cm
  • Weight: 1.24kg
Gallery label
  • 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 Earthenware C.426-1934 Given by the artist(23/05/2008)
Credit line
Given by the Secretary of the British Institute of Industrial Art
Object history
one in a series of fourteen animal models designed by the sculptor Skeaping for Wedgwood
Historical context
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]
Subject depicted
Accession number

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Record createdFebruary 9, 2000
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