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Figurine

Figurine

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1921 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Walker, Agatha (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Moulded plaster, covered in wax and coloured

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Mrs Nora Rowntree Ison

  • Museum number:

    S.1307-1984

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is one of several wax figurines executed by Agatha Walker in the 1920s, mostly of actors and actresses in character in successful London stage productions. The 19th century saw a craze for ceramic figurines of performers and Agatha Walker attempted to revive this tradition with her limited edition sculptures, modelled from life in plaster and coated with a fine layer of wax which was then coloured. In 1931 Agatha Walker's wax figures were exhibited at the Fine Art Society.

This represents the actress and singer Violet Marquesita as Lucy Lockit in John Gay's The Beggar's Opera which opened at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith on 5 June 1920. It was one of a set of characters from the opera produced by Agatha Walker in 1921. This revival of the 18th century operetta ran for three years and was revived in 1926, 1928 and 1929 at the Lyric Theatre, with the soprano Violet Marquesita again playing Lucy Lockit. The Beggar's Opera was a great success for the theatre's owner Sir Nigel Playfair who had purchased the lease of the derelict theatre building in 1918 in a syndicate. He transformed it into a highly successful venue, putting Hammersmith firmly on the theatrical map.

Physical description

Wax figurine of Violet Marquesita as Lucy Lockit in defiant stance, her arms clasped across her chest, looking to her left. She is wearing a mustard-coloured dress, carries an orange reticule, wears beads and gloves and has brown hair. She stands on an integral dark brown base.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)

Date

1921 (made)

Artist/maker

Walker, Agatha (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Moulded plaster, covered in wax and coloured

Marks and inscriptions

Base inscribed '267'

'DAMAGED IN THE NAZI AIR RAID ON YORK 1945 MENDED AFTER 2 EYE OPERATIONS 1981, AS BEST I COULD'
written in biro, on the base

'Marquesita'
on left of base, incised

'Violet'
on right of base, incised

'1921' and monogram AW
on back of base, incised

'LUCY LOCKIT'
on front of base, incised

Dimensions

Height: 25.0 cm, Width: 12.0 cm at widest point, approximately, across hips, Width: 10.0 cm of base, Depth: 17.1 cm of base, Height: 2.4 cm of base

Object history note

The revival of The Beggar's Opera by John Gay in which Violet Marquesita played Lucy Lockit opened at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, 5 June 1920.

Descriptive line

Figurine of Violet Marquesita as Lucy Lockit in The Beggar's Opera, Lyric Hammersmith, 1920. Moulded plaster coated in wax and coloured, by Agatha Walker, 1921.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Stage Personalities. The Portrait Statuettes of Agatha Walker The Studio, vol. 101 (1931)
Review of a concert given by Violet Marquesita, Aeolian Hall, London, 27 October 1919, in The New Age magazine, Vol XXXVI, No.3, 20 November 1919,

Materials

Plaster; Wax; Pigment

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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