Eight Rogers Groups have been published in parian. Parian is a soft-paste unglazed biscuit porcelain developed in England by W. T. Copeland in 1842. It was ideally suited for the reproduction of statuary because its fine consistency insured accuracy of detail, while its translucent whiteness and dry, granular texture suggested real marble. A distinctive feature was that parian figures shrank about one-six in the firing.
In the case of seven of the eight titles (i.e., all except Fisher Girl), it is very unlikely that that Rogers authorized, produced or sold any of these Rogers pieces. In fact, the seven groups were not cast from original Rogers pieces, as there are significant difference between Rogers’ proprietary plaster casts and the parian examples found today. Differences range from the layout of wrinkles and the number of buttons on the clothing to the addition of large blades of grass, tree trunks and monumental bases of various design. As a result, it is presumed that, while the original Rogers groups were used as models, the titles were resculpted from scratch by "house sculptors" who produced the works.
There are at least two known manufacturers of the parian examples. A well-known and prolific parian manufacturer in England called Robinson and Leadbeater pictures "One More Shot" and "Wounded Scout" in their catalogs. Another piece, "Union Refugees" is signed by J. Cooke, another well-known English parian manufacturer of the late 19th century.
As a result of the parian pieces being made by different companies, there are more than one version of a number of the titles, including substantially different bases. There are three versions of "One More Shot", three versions of "Wounded Scout" and two version each of "Taking the Oath" and "Union Refugees." There is only one known version of "Checker Players", "Camp Life the Card Players" and "Courtship in Sleepy Hollow".
The only parian that Rogers is known to have sculpted personally is "The Fisher Girl". Rogers was commissioned in 1860 by the Cosmopolitan Art Association to sculpt a reduced copy of William Randolph Barbee’s statue "The Fisher Girl", an ideal nude sitting by the sea mending a fishing net. The Association had recently purchased the much publicized and larger original marble and wished to distribute reproductions in parian by lottery to members of the Association. Rogers sculpted the original in clay and produced a plaster cast. The plaster cast was then shipped to the famous Copeland pottery in England, where it was reproduced in parian. Eleven of these copies in parian were distributed in 1861 by the Cosmopolitan Art Association. Today, The Fisher Girl is among Rogers’ most cherished works.
Below are pictured a complete set of all 15 Rogers parians, including Fisher Girl and every known variation made by the English companies. It is possible that other variations may be discovered in the future, and if so, pictures will be added to this gallery.