Staffordshire Pottery Auctioneers: Old Age and a Bit of Monkey Business

Published 16th August 2012

It took me a bit of time to work out who this was as the caption is pretty spidery, but it turns out it is Thomas Parr (no relation to the Staffordshire potter) or ‘Old Parr’ as he is often referred to. The figure is taken from an engraving which in turn was taken from a portrait painted by Rubens when he was apparently 140 years old.


Staffordshire Pottery Figure - Thomas Parr


Thomas was born in Shropshire in 1483, but bought to London by The Earl of Arundel and presented to Charles I in 1635, unfortunately the metropolitan air wasn’t too good for him and he died whilst there – hardly a premature end. It seems that this may have been an advertising figure for Parr’s Life Pills a popular Victorian medicine.

Why is there a picture of a monkey seated on a poodle banging a drum – I really have no idea, but I had to use it somewhere.


Staffordshire Pottery Figure - Musical Monkey

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