This beautiful antique porcelain phrenology bust and inkwell is signed “By F Bridges Phrenologist” and dates to the 1850s. Frederick Bridges, was a renowned English phrenologist. He was author of the book “Phrenology Made Practical”, which was popular enough to have reached several editions.
His bust was usually fired in blue and white colours, which are hard enough to find, but this is one of the rare examples with gilded decoration.
Phrenology, is the study of the shape of the skull which was thought to correlate with specific localised brain functions. It remained popular in Europe and America throughout the 19th century (but was shown to be unfounded by Magendie as early as 1843).