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Although Christoper Ashenden may be better known for his Connoisseur of Malvern bird sculptures, he created quite a number of absolutely spectacular felines for them as well.

It should be mentioned that although some of the examples shown below do not have wood bases, they originally did come with one… typically of cherry or walnut.

 

SNOW LEOPARD by Connoisseur of MalvernHis magnificent Snow Leopard is as powerful a sculpture in size as in style: it measures a whopping 31” long end-to-end, and 22” high (78 cm x 58 cm). Only 25 were created, and it was priced at $11,500 at its USA introduction in 1990.

 

 

PUMA on original base by Connoisseur of MalvernConnoisseur of Malvern Puma detailThe 1988 Puma was a limited issue of 25 and measures 19” (48 cm) high and equally wide. The ferocity of his gaze is enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine. This big cat (Puma concolor) is native to the Americas and is also known as the cougar, mountain lion, and catamount; a National Geographic article called this species the “cat of many names”!

 

 

ROYAL BENGAL TIGER by Connoisseur of MalvernThe fierce Royal Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) measures 21” high and 29” long (53 cm x 73.5 cm) and was an edition of 25 sculptures.

 

 

 

SNOW PRINCE by Connoisseur of MalvernSnow Prince wood base plinthSnow Prince represents the magnificent Siberian tiger, Panthera tigris altaica.  This sculpture is 15” (39 cm) high and was a limited issue of 25. The example shown here has missing and/or damaged whiskers; however, it’s the first photo I have found of one that still had its original wood base (albeit damaged.) One wonders how or why a base designed only to be used for a specific item can so often go missing, though!

snow Prince backstampThis sculpture has a somewhat unusual backstamp, in that the “snow” part is not in the same size font as the “prince”….but all of them seen to date have been in that format.

 

 

LEOPARD by Connoisseur of Malvern missing baseHere’s yet another “big cat” that has lost its original base: the Leopard which was an edition of 25. The seller gave its length as 33.5″ (85 cm) but did not provide a height. However, it is probably similar to the Snow Leopard and Puma at about 20″ (51 cm.)

 

 

 

LYNX by Connoisseur of MalvernI would not be particularly comfortable meeting up with a live version of this Lynx if alone in the woods – just look at those sharp claws! A solitary and nocturnal hunter, Felis lynx is adapted to life in the northern forests but is now a threatened species. This sculpture is 24” (61 cm) high and was a limited edition of 25.

 

 

SIMBA by Connoisseur of MalvernSimba detailAshenden’s depiction of the largest member of the cat family is called Simba. An edition of 25, the sculpture is 17” high and 28” long (43 cm x 71 cm) as shown. I have a strong suspicion that this originally came with a wood plinth (base) which has since gone missing.

 

 

SERENGETI MORN I by Connoisseur of MalvernSERENGETI MORN II by Connoisseur of MalvernDUMA DUMA by Connoisseur of Malvernthree CHEETAHS by Connoisseur of MalvernWhen I first saw this trio of cheetahs, my jaw literally dropped in complete amazement. All were created in 1985, and each was a limited edition of 25 sculptures that were offered for sale separately. They are named Serengeti Morn I, Serengeti Morn II and Duma, Duma (illustrated in that order.)  Serengeti Morn I, the walking male, is 14″ (35.5 cm) high and sold for $3150 in 1987.  Serengeti II, the reclining female, is 9″ h x 16″ w (about 23cm x 41 cm); she was priced at $2750 in 1987. Duma, the running cat, had an issue price of $2950 and measures 12.5″ (31.75 cm)  high by 20″ (51 cm) wide.  “Duma” is the Swahili word for the cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus.

 

Serengeti I and II on a single base by Connoisseur of MalvernAlthough the Serengeti I and II studies were sold separately, this photograph in the 1986 Connoisseur of Malvern catalog shows them together on a single cherry wood base.
POETRY IN MOTION by Connoisseur of MalvernAnother Ashenden cheetah is Poetry in Motion, a limited edition of 25 and measuring 20” (51 cm) in height. The fastest land animal on our planet certainly fits that description!

 

 

JAGUAR by Connoisseur of MalvernUnfortunately the only information I currently have about this circa-1980s Jaguar is the photo, the name and a height dimension of 11″ (28 cm). This was a limited edition designed by Richard Roberts; the only feline in this post not created by Ashenden!

 

 

kitten SNOWFLAKE by Connoisseur of Malvernkitten WHISKY by Connoisseur of MalvernSeveral  domestic cats were also created. The two above were both open editions. The white kitten is Snowflake and the calico is Whisky, both approximately 8” (20.25 cm) tall. Snowflake appeared in 1984 and retailed for $295 in 1987. Whisky’s issue year is 1985; she sold for $395 in 1987, the higher price reflecting the additional paintwork compared to Snowflake.

 

 

QUEEN OF SIAM by Connoisseur of Malvern view 1QUEEN OF SIAM by Connoisseur of Malvern view 2This intriguing and marvelously realistic study of a mother cat and kitten is called Queen of Siam. This was a limited edition of 50 in 1987; it is 13.5” high x 12.5” wide x 17” deep (34.3 cm x 31.75 cm x 43 cm).

 

 

INNOCENCE by Connoisseur of MalvernAnother Siamese kitten is Innocence who is 9″ (23 cm) tall and was a limited edition of 100 in 1987. The example in the photo is missing two of the three gentian flowers that should be in the frontmost (closest to the camera) section of the base. The detail photo is of another piece which has a slightly different coloration (yellow highlights.) The amount of yellow shading depended upon which artist painted the piece; some did not use it at all.

 

 

BLUE EYES by Connoisseur of MalvernThe same Siamese kitten was also available, sans flowers, as the open edition Blue Eyes. This was also a 1987 issue and measures 9″ (23cm) high and wide.

Additional studies by Christopher Ashenden can be found in the Connoisseur Animal Studies archive category.
Name index of sculptures referenced on this site
About the Connoisseur of Malvern Archive

Images of ©Connoisseur of Malvern porcelain sculptures are provided for informational and educational purposes only, not for reproduction, resale or advertising. All photographs are copyrighted by their owner (if known) as indicated via watermark.

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