Copeland Parian figure: The Astragali Player
A lovely early Copeland Parian figure of The Astragali Player or The Dice Player. The charming young woman in classical dress sits on a large buttoned cushion playing with the knuckle bones or dice. According to R Copeland, the figure dates from 1851.
Copeland notes that dice were found in the royal tombs of Ur, dating back to the third millennium BCE. The dice game, still played nowadays with metal jacks, commonly used the astrogalus bone from the sheep’s ankle as depicted here. The game of dice is recorded in Greek and Roman writings and art and this Parian figure is similar to various classical Roman statues (eg in Altes Museum, Berlin), themselves often based on Greek originals.
This figure is illustrated in Robert Copeland’s book “Parian - Copeland’s Statuary Porcelain” pages 122/123 fig S9, in colour plate 10 and on the dust jacket front.
Height/ Width: 22½cm/ 28cm ( 9” /11”)
Condition: This figure is in very good condition. There is professional restoration to the 2nd toe on the left foot and to tips of 2 or 3 toes on the right foot.