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Charlotte Vandenhoff as Juliet

  • Object:

    Figurine

  • Place of origin:

    Staffordshire (made)

  • Date:

    ca.1852 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Parr, Thomas (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Lead-glazed earthenware

  • Credit Line:

    Accepted by HM Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1996

  • Museum number:

    S.948-1996

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Stars of the 19th century theatre were often celebrated in paintings, prints and drawings, and in ceramic figurines. Several Staffordshire factories specialised in moulded earthenware portrait figurines which were decorated by hand and sold cheaply. This figurine represents Charlotte Vandenhoff (1818-1860) and is based on an engraving published in Tallis's Shakespeare Gallery, 1852-1853, entitled 'Miss Vandenhoff as Juliet', with a quote from Act 3, scene ii. The pose is not exact, since the left hand is held across her chest and in the engraving it is outstretched, but this is a modification that a potter might make. At least seven earthenware portrait figurines are known to have been copied from this source and are known as Tallis figures. They were made in many sizes, probably by by the Burslem potters Thomas Parr (who was working from 1852 until 1870), John Parr, (working from 1870 to 1879), or the Kent & Parr firm, (working from1880 until 1894). These manufacturers passed the moulds to each other and the figures were produced throughout the Victorian period.

The Liverpool-born actress Charlotte Vandenhoff, daughter of the actor John Vandenhoff, made her first appearance on stage as Juliet at Drury Lane in 1836. She played the role again at Covent Garden in 1840 and also on tour in Britain and in America where she performed in 1839 and 1858.

Place of Origin

Staffordshire (made)

Date

ca.1852 (made)

Artist/maker

Parr, Thomas (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Lead-glazed earthenware

Dimensions

Height: 19.8 cm, Width: 7.0 cm, Width: 7.5 cm of base, Height: 3.0 cm of base, Depth: 7.5 cm of base

Descriptive line

Figurine of Charlotte Vandenhoff (1818-1860) as Juliet in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, a role she first played at Drury Lane Theatre, 11 April 1836. Glazed earthenware, probably by Thomas Parr, Burslem, Staffordshire, ca.1852

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

Portrait Figures of the Victorian Era by P.D. Gordon Pugh, p.422.
Staffordshire Portrait Figures of the Victorian Era by P.D. Gordon Pugh

Production Note

Known as a 'Tallis figure' because the pose was copied from an engraving in Tallis's Shakespeare Gallery, 1852-1853, after a daguerrotype by Paine of Islington.

Materials

Earthenware; Lead glaze

Techniques

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

Categories

Ceramics; Figures & Decorative ceramics; Entertainment & Leisure

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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