The man is holding a beautiful weaved brass basket and mining for gold. The gold leaf cast and placed on the basket tells us this story. The belt he wears in also a brass casting and he stands on a brass stand. The figure is in its original condition.
Country house condition.
It was formerly in the collection of the late Rupert Gentle who was the leading expert on brassware and connected genres. He published several books, one of which ‘English Domestic Brass’ published in 1975, is now recognized as the standard reference work on the subject.
Blackamoor figures are sculptures and other depictions of exotic figures, usually African males but sometimes other non-European races, used in European art in the Early Modern period. They occur in various media, often holding a tray or some other container, which was available for practical use. They occur in jewelry, armorial designs and decorative art. They often represent a conceit depicting a symbolic servant, and large examples of about half-size were placed on either sides of doorways, as real footmen might be.