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"Trump", Hogarth's dog

1747-1750
Origin: England, Middlesex, Chelsea
OH: 5 1/8in (13cm); L: 11 5/8in. (29.5cm); W: 6in. (15.2cm)
Porcelain, Soft-paste
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1991-627
Molded, soft-paste porcelain figure of a dog, known as William Hogarth's dog named "Trump." The dog is lying on its side with all four legs visible on an irregular shaped base. No color has been applied.
Label:The noted painter and engraver William Hogarth was devoted to his pet pug, Trump, and featured him prominently in his self-portrait of 1745. The image of Hogarth's dog was also captured in terra cotta by the French sculptor Roubilliac and in porcelain by the Chelsea Factory in England. Only three examples of Trump in porcelain are known to survive today. The technical difficulties of firing such a large ceramic mass, combined with the endearing expression of the dog's face, make this figure a master piece of the potter's art.


A lifelike sculpture of William Hogarth's dog "Trump", created around 1747, was the masterful creation of the prominent sculptor Louis Francois Roubilliac and of Nicholas Sprimont, director of the Chelsea factory. The sculptor's contributions to this effort are clearly reflected in Trump's endearing expression and lifelike repose. Trump was the close companion of the great painter and engraver William Hogarth. Hogarth placed Trump prominently in the foreground of his self-portrait painted in 1745. So close was the relationship between master and faithful friend, it is evident that Hogarth clearly identified himself with the temperament embodied by Trump.

Only three examples of Trump are known to survive today (1993). Of the other two, one is considered the highlight of the Victoria and Albert Museum's porcelain collections and the other is still in private hands. With its direct associations to Roubilliac, Sprimont, and William Hogarth, this object ranks high among the significant porcelain works in English ceramic history. (From CWF MUSEUM musings, Vol. II, no. l, March 1993, by Robert R. Hunter, Jr. Assistant Curator, Ceramics.)
Provenance:Purchased from: Sotheby's
Mark(s):No