By Neil Hobkirk
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To the left of this text, what you see is recognizably a Royal Doulton figurine. It is specifically the kind of figurine that the company termed a “character figure,” and in this case the character is recognizably Sir John A. Macdonald. But what’s he positioned against? A small chest of drawers, by the looks of it. And how about the piece of paper in his hand? It displays a paucity of writing, but is it meant to suggest the 72 Resolutions that resulted ultimately in Confederation? Or just something of domestic significance, like a liquor bill?
William K. Harper alone would know the exact intentions involved, for he was the Royal Doulton designer entrusted with the task of rendering Sir John A. on a miniature scale. The Macdonald figurine stands 8.75 inches high and was issued in 1987 with the model number HN2860. According to the Village Collectables website, it was “produced to commemorate the centenary of the Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company,” which was founded in 1887 with Sir John A. Macdonald as its first president.
Wikipedia | Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominion_of_Canada_General_Insurance_Company
LifeStyle | Royal Doulton Figurines: http://www.lifestyle.com.au/diy/royal-doulton-figurines.aspx
Sir John A Macdonald Library | Sir John A.'s Liquor Bill, 14 February 1860: http://www.sirjohnamacdonaldlibrary.ca/library/the_man_himself/images/e008303554-v6.jpg