You are looking at a large, beautiful antique porcelain figurine of a Borzoi Hound - also known as a Russian Wolfhound - produced by the Sitzendorf Porcelain Manufacturing Company. A graceful, elegant hound, the Borzoi had been bred by the Russian aristocracy for hundreds of years, specifically to hunt wolves, fox and hare over the open plains of Russia. The Borzoi Russian Wolfhound enjoyed an extreme popularity in Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and is a frquent subject for studios that produced fine porcelain figurines. Our antique Sitzendorf porcelain Borzoi Hound figurine is a beautiful fellow with brown, black and white fur, and a pink tongue lolling from his mouth! The antique Sitzendorf porcelain Borzoi Hound figurine is captured in repose, his front legs outstretched. The hound gazes fondly upwards, undoubtedly at his master. Although there is light overall crazing from aging, our antique porcelain Borzoi Russian Wolfhound figurine is otherwise in perfect condition, with no chips, stains, cracks or nicks! We believe that this is a fairly early casting from the mold, since you can see distinct swirls in the antique Sitzendorf porcelain Borzoi Hound figurine's fur, as well as the detail for his toe nails, eye sockets, nostrils and tongue. Measuring a generous 10-1/8" in length, and (even though reclining) measuring 5-1/8" in height, our antique porcelain Borzoi Russian Wolfhound figurine conveys the strength and massive size of this breed of hound. Although we cannot be certain, we believe that this antique Sitzendorf porcelain Borzoi Hound figurine dates from 1900 to 1920, which was the period when this breed of hound was most popular. The backstamp on the antique porcelain Borzoi Russian Wolfhound figurine supports this estimate: it is the blue-stamped crown, open pearls, with the cross-hatched 'S' (see our discussion of marks, below). There is no indication of manufacturing origin, meaning that the antique porcelain Borzoi Hound figurine was either produced before 1891 (when the country of origin was required on all exports), or was produced for domestic European sale. There is a small blue mark on the base of the antique Sitzendorf Porcelain Manufacturing Company Borzoi Hound figurine which we believe is a smudge and not a deliberate mark. The base also bears the production code '38330', which was unique to this antique Sitzendorf Porcelain Manufacturing Company Borzoi Hound figurine.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BORZOI HOUND (RUSSIAN WOLFHOUND): The elegant Borzoi is a sight hound, meaning that this breed hunts by sight rather than scent. Developed by the Russia aristocracy by crossing Arabian greyhounds with a thick-coated, Russian breed, the Borzoi Hound hunted wolves, fox and hare over the open plains of Russia, often in hunting parties of more than 100 dogs. The breed's tall and rangy body allows pursuit of quarry for long distances. Today, the Borzoi Hound are popular in the lure coursing field, and are often seen in the show and companion event rings as well. Their long, silky coat can be flat, wavy or curly and may be any color or combination of colors.
BRIEF HISTORY OF SITZENDORF PORCELAIN MANUFACTURING COMPANY: The manufacture of porcelain products began in the town of Sitzendorf in 1850, although the manufacture of fine porcelain figurines did not begin until 1884. This factory remains in operation into the present day. Sitzendorf porcelain is identified and valued by its year of manufacture. There are several distinct periods in the management history of the factory. Wilhelm Liebmann held control over the establishment from its founding in 1850 until a fire in 1858 gutted the factory building, causing Libmann to retire. The factory was rebuilt and reopened under the management of two brothers, Alfred and Carl Voigt, who ran the factory as a private concern until 1896. Beginning that year, the company was run as a public corporation with stock valued at a million German marks. In 1932, the factory nearly collapsed under the weight of the pervasive socioeconomic depression.
The Sitzendorf factory produced items that were representative of the 'Dresden' style of porcelain, which was a well-colored, highly ornate style that utilized flowers, shells, fruits, leaves and scroll work. As with many Dresden items, Sitzendorf products were and are more collector items than practical products (Sitzendorf is just one of the German porcelain makers referred to as 'Dresden').
There are two leading indicator marks on genuine Sitzendorf porcelain factory. The blue crown over the letter S with a double cross slash mark is one (see our photographs), and the double cross slash alone is the other. Both marks are in a deep blue and appear on all items from the Sitzendorf porcelain factory. The marks represent three distinct stages in the life history of the Sitzendorf porcelain factory: The oldest mark, which dates from 1884 to 1896, may be either the 'Crown & S', or the double cross-hatch mark, but will also include a 'Germany' stamp. The blue mark with the crown and "open pearls" (with no other mark or designation) dates from 1902 to 1972 (see our photograph). The blue mark with the crown and "closed" pearls dates from 1954 on. The double slash mark alone is one of the earliest marks dating back to when the Voigts were in charge of production (1858 - 1896).