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  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Europe (made)

  • Date:

    mid-late 19th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (makers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Biscuit porcelain

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This bust represents Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1828), the brilliant German pianist and composer who had his first music published when he was twelve years old, and made his first concert apearance in Vienna aged fifteen. Beethoven was born in Bonn but moved to Vienna in 1792 when Haydn invited him to study with him, and lived there until his death. Unlike any other composer before him, Beethoven's music made him a great public figure and when he died 10,0000 people were said to have attended his funeral.

This bust is made of biscuit porcelain, an unglazed porcelain introduced in the mid-18th century as a medium for statuettes and reliefs. It could be purchased relatively cheaply and yet give the effect of a marble bust in a fairly modest home. This continental bust was probably produced in the mid to late 19th century, along with busts of other famous composers including Mozart, Haydn and Wagner, but similar items can be bought today.

Physical description

Continental biscuit bust of Beethoven on integral octagonal base. 'BEETHOVEN' incised above plinth, under bust.

Place of Origin

Europe (made)


mid-late 19th century (made)


Unknown (makers)

Materials and Techniques

Biscuit porcelain

Marks and inscriptions

Incised above plinth, under bust


Height: 21.0 cm approx, Width: 11.0 cm approx, across shoulders, Depth: 7.8 cm of base, Width: 8.1 cm

Descriptive line

Bust of Ludwig van Beethoven, biscuit porcelain, Continental, mid to late 19th century




Moulding; Firing (heating)


Entertainment & Leisure; Figures & Decorative ceramics; Ceramics; Parian ware


Theatre and Performance Collection

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