Fine Art/sculpture


Miss Ellie
Miss Ellie  
Can you please provide me with more information about this sculpture and artist?  Information at the base of the piece is Miss Ellie; Vide waterbabies; J.Durham 1872; copyright reserved;Copeland.
Thank you for your assistance

Very briefly,
The artist Joseph Durham 1814-1877 was a quite prolific English  Victorian artist, who made numerous sculptures. These vary from official portrait busts, to more whimsical figures. He was also, a member of the Royal Academy and also exhibited works there.
His works vary from a design for the bronze statue of Price Albert, for the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London, to small boy’s who are playing cricket. He followed the Victorian traditions of Empire, and supported the pillars of the Victorian model society.
Your  image of Miss  Ellie, is an echo of the Victorian era in the shape of a story written by Charles Kingsly between 1862-63. It is both a tale of redemption and also a strong condemnation of how many poorer children, were badly mis-treated during the Victorian era.
The character Tom, is a small “boy” chimney sweep, who is chased out of a wealthy house by a upper class girl called Ellie. Tom then runs away, falls into a river and is transformed into a water baby.
The image appears to be made of marble.
However, if it states copyright “Copeland” then I suspect that the object might be a composite material, or made of Parian ware, which is an imitation of marble.  In which case, it is a reproduction and not the original. The object, comes from the “kilns” of the English Spode- Copeland and Garret configuration. This of course will not  detract from the monetary value, it being a commission by the Copeland factory; to Durham.
But please remember, clean it gently with a soft feather duster, use no harsh household cleaning agents, brillo pads etc, as you will then most certainly devalue it!!!  Parian ware, is very difficult to restore.
It may well have been produced  in the Victorian era, or as late as the 1970’s.  Only a real "hands on” examination, would give more certainty.
That in a nutshell, is the background of your Miss Ellie.
You have standing on a “Pedestal” in the corner of a room a work of much greater significance, than you perhaps first realized.
I hope that the answer is of some use to you, at least a few more doors have now  been unlocked to some former “dusty” attic  areas.
Please leave some feedback if you feel so inclined.
Take care and have a good day and don't feel too bad about either Tom, or Ellie, as they belong to a forgotten Victorian era of of draped windows and towering "Whatnots".

Fine Art

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


D. E. Lombardo


I am unable to answer enquiries concerning objects, which are NOT related to the areas of Fine Art and Antiques. Nor will I; on the sole basis of any photographic images be willing to give any definitive monetary valuations, or monetary opinions. In such cases I would always advise on getting “real time” valuations and opinions from reputable and qualified auction houses, or third parties. In some applicable cases, I may perhaps give general indications of value, based on the presented materials. True valuations always need a direct “hands on” approach, with perhaps also the necessary research and verifications. Broadly open to almost all questions, regarding the majority of both European, American quality objects, which are related to both Antiques and Fine Art. This also includes modern 20th century designer objects such as furniture etc. My own particular comfort zone areas would be; The decorative Arts, marble, stone, furniture, ivory, bone, amber, ceramics and porcelain, sculpture, glass, silver and metal objects etc. I will also answer inquiries, and give opinions concerning Dutch 17th, 18th and 19th century paintings. Please note that I do have limitations and cannot possibly answer all questions, as the field is very extensive. VERY IMPORTANT and PLEASE NOTE: Please note that; providing > GOOD CLEAR and Preferably High Resolution < photo's of the object(s)in question, is vital. Pics taken with a cell/mobile phone, are of a poor quality and best avoided. Posting signatures only, or just fragments of an artifact - will only provide me with insufficient information and it is often quite misleading. So please; Do post good clear overall images, with your question(s). Failing to do so, may cause rejection, which is also a great pity.


Since the early 90’s I lead a team of very enthusiastic staff at a business, where have the following disciplines; Restoration and refurbishment of historical buildings and gardens, including interior design. The restoration and care of Fine Art and Antiques at our restoration studio We are also Fine Art and Antique dealers, besides being collectors ourselves for a great number of years.

The main professional organization of which I am a member is the BNA, or Association of Dutch Architects, which is equivalent to the US; American Institute of Architects. Affiliated to the Art Loss Register in London and the International Cites Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

Villa Rufolo; The forgotten paradise on earth. Published by the University of Aarhus, Denmark Book reviews and articles for International Archis Magazine, in the Netherlands.

Since I wished to become a Restoration Architect, firstly I took my BA degree in Art History. Then after graduation, I followed this immediately by studies to graduate and become a Restoration Architect. Ever since then, I have been an established Restoration Architect and Antiquarian. Since a great number of buildings are also inhabited by Fine Art fixtures and furnishings, I also became absorbed by all the artifacts, which go to fill them and not only the edifices themselves. This and much more, was the reason for gaining an advisory post on the City Commission; For The Protection and Care of Historic Monuments of Amsterdam - Amstelveen.

Awards and Honors
Citations and gratitude; “From the Town of Amalfi” for the groundwork achieved in order bring back the Historical past to the Medieval Villa Rufolo and its vital role in the region. BA in Art Hisory. Graduation Diploma as an Architect & Antiquarian; and also practicing as such. I have also completed a 3 year course in antiques, at the VHOK in Amsterdam VHOK is translated as; ( "The Association of Fine Art Dealers In The Netherlands.")

Past/Present Clients
With a view to the present lawmaking on privacy and reasons of confidentiality, this topic will remain private.

©2016 All rights reserved.