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Ballerina

  • Object:

    Figurine

  • Place of origin:

    Thuringia (made)

  • Date:

    ca.1920 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Sitzendorf Porcelain Manufactory (makers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Glazed porcelain and lace

  • Credit Line:

    Richard Vincent Hughes Bequest

  • Museum number:

    S.316-1981

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This small figurine of a classical ballet dancer was produced in Thuringia, central Germany, probably at the Sitzendorf porcelain factory which began the production of lace 'Dresden style' figurines in 1884, under the chairmanship of Alfred and Carl Wilhelm Voigt. The first porcelain factory in Sitzendorf opened in Thuringia in 1760 but we know that this little dancer was produced after 1891, partly from the style which dates it probably to the 1920s, and because the mark on the base came into use after 1891. It represents a classical ballet dancer, and there was a renewed interest in classical ballet in Europe in the 1920s since many ballet dancers settled in the west after the 1917 Russian revolution, some of them opening ballet schools.

The use of real lace incorporated in the figurine was a technique popularly used at the Sitzendorf factory in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Sitzendorf Porcelain Manufactory, as it became known after 1902, also made figurines of girl musicians with similar lacy skirts, and white bases decorated with identical flourishes of gold enamel paint. This is one of a pair in the Theatre Collections, showing the dancer in different positions.

Physical description

Small white glazed porcelain figurine of a dancer on integral base with her right hand up to her right ear, her left hand in front of her chest, wearing a machine lace cotton ballet skirt. Underglaze blue, brown and red for facial features, blue bodice and blue headband; overglaze gilt for the shoes, bodice detail, headdress detail and stripes around the base. One of a pair.

Place of Origin

Thuringia (made)

Date

ca.1920 (made)

Artist/maker

Sitzendorf Porcelain Manufactory (makers)

Materials and Techniques

Glazed porcelain and lace

Marks and inscriptions

'FOREIGN'
Stamped on base in red.

Dimensions

Height: 8.3 cm, Width: 6.5 cm at widest point, including skirt, Width: 4.3 cm of base, Depth: 2.6 cm of base

Descriptive line

Figurine of a ballerina, one of a pair, Thuringian, ca. 1920

Materials

Porcelain; Enamel paint; Glaze; Lace

Techniques

Moulding; Firing (heating); Painting; Glazing (coating); Lace making

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Figures & Decorative ceramics; Ceramics

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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