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3-legged ceramic gargoyle?

Posted by bungalow975 (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 6, 12 at 20:23

I acquired this oddity about 15 years ago at an auction. Its ugliness has grown on me over the years, but I am stumped as to its actual purpose. It isn't a planter, since the corners of the mouth are open. I have only used it for potpourri, but would really like to know what it is. Does anyone have any ideas? Anyone familiar with the maker's mark?
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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: 3-legged ceramic gargoyle?

Burmantofts, 1882-1904, don't know what it is, but I like it!
I just checked all my Millers & art pottery books, I don't see him anywhere.


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RE: 3-legged ceramic gargoyle?

Thank you so much! I found several on Google images--it is a 3-legged faience toad vase, and dates from the late 1890s. I would never have found this without your help! I'm gratified to know that I can justify its prominent place in my living room. ☺


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RE: 3-legged ceramic gargoyle?

You're very welcome, it's always nice to see a good piece. I don't get to see much Burmantofts, I'd love to have one in my collection.


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RE: 3-legged ceramic gargoyle?

He's disturbingly wonderful!

Can't you stick a Venus flytrap in him or something? Potpourri seems so tame.


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RE: 3-legged ceramic gargoyle?

Haha! I should use him for something more exciting, not to mention species-appropriate!


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RE: 3-legged ceramic gargoyle?

Thanks to mfrog's identification of this piece, I've been able to research it a little. I am confused about the number on the bottom, though. I found several other toad vases, including two that sold at Christie's for $300(!) 7 years ago. They have the same number as mine (583), but are not exactly alike. What does the number signify? I thought it was similar to a model number, but the same number appears on at least three different pieces. Also, is it possible to date a piece with this number? Thank you!


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RE: 3-legged ceramic gargoyle?

I have the same issue with Minton secessionist pieces, quite a few have the same number on the bottom which doesn't correspond to the shape or date. I think unless you found someone who was very well versed on Burmantoff's manufacturing you could be searching for years for an answer.

I'm not surprised that it sold for $300, unusual always sells well & Burmantoff's is very hard to come by.


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RE: 3-legged ceramic gargoyle?

Thank you, mfrog, you've been very helpful. I have an additional question for you: what is the incised circle with a dot in the center that appears with the maker's mark? By the way, the $300 was, I believe, for two vases--still quite a lot


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RE: 3-legged ceramic gargoyle?

That's probably the actual date code, or could be the glazers mark, but I don't know for sure. There is a book on Burmantoft's written by an avid collector which you might be able to get from the library.


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