A Large Lead Model of a Winged Pig c.1960; The Estate of Sir David Tang

Origin: English
Period: Mid/Late 20thC
Provenance: The Estate of the Late Sir David Tang
Date: c.1960
Width: 14”
Height: 9.5”
Depth: 22” (all at extremities)
Weight: 33.6 Kgs

The attractive, heavy and large lead sculpted figure of winged or flying pig, freestanding, showing a good patination to the lead, and surviving from the mid twentieth century and the estate of the late Sir David Tang.

The piece is naturally heavy and is very tactile being in stable overall order and appears to be unsigned. There is a nice patination with some discolouration and established wear commensurate with being handled with one of the wings having had a repair carried out to it. There is buckling to the right flank with the two feet mis-shapen, with some dents to the pigs back. Please refer to the photographs for a full visual reference.

The Flying Pig is a creature with origins in Greek mythology, legend and folklore. The original flying pig was a winged boar named Chrysaor, the offspring of the Gorgon Medusa, and the Greek sea god Poseidon, and the brother of the winged horse Pegasus. The phrase "when pigs fly" is an adynaton—a figure of speech so hyperbolic that it describes an impossibility and this phrase has been used in various forms since the 1600s as a sarcastic remark.

Sir David Wing-cheung Tang, KBE, was a Hong Kong businessman, philanthropist and socialite. He was best known for founding the Shanghai Tang fashion chain in 1994, which he sold in 1998 to Richemont but also was also hailed as a discerning art collector with impeccable taste. After Tang passed away, Stephen Fry wrote an article in the Financial Times, remembering Tang as “a gambler capable of losing £250,000 in one night.”

Sir David Tang’s penchant for house parties were well known; determined to be in bed by 10:30pm, he was known to empty his living room with a clap of his hands, urging guests with a stern, “come on, time to go”.

Pigs can fly.