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Statuette - Character from the Commedia dell'arte

Character from the Commedia dell'arte

  • Object:

    Statuette

  • Place of origin:

    Germany (perhaps Dresden, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Ivory

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr. W. L. Hildburgh, F. S. A. in 1949; formerly on loan from Dr Hildburgh.

  • Museum number:

    A.56-1949

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This figure of a dancer represents a character from the Commedia dell'arte and is made in Germany in about 1900. He wears fantastic costume, a conical hat and a ballet skirt with applied Pambrequine.
Such genre pieces, often portrayed wearing masks, were made in Dresden in the first half of the eighteenth century. Some have been attributed to Paul Heermann. Johann Christoph Ludwig Lücke also produced similar pieces. There are links between such works and contemporary ceramics, for example the porcelain figures made at Meissen, some of which were designed by ivory sculptors. However this example seems to be a fabrication of the early twentieth century. This is suggested both by its scale, since it is significantly larger than authentic eighteenth-century figures, and by its rather coarse style. The feet for example are too small in relation to the rest of the figure, while the head is too large, and the facial features have a modern appearance.

Physical description

Figure of a dancer in fantastic costume, conical hat and a ballet skirt with applied Pambrequine. He is solemn faced. Holding his left arm outstretched and raising his right arm, he wears a fringed skirt and breeches, dainty shoes, and a conical hat.

Place of Origin

Germany (perhaps Dresden, made)

Date

ca. 1900 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Ivory

Dimensions

Height: 26 cm whole, Height: 19.5 cm ivory alone

Object history note

Given by Dr Hildburgh F.S.A. in 1949; formerly on loan from Dr Hildburgh.
Such genre pieces, often portrayed wearing masks, were made in Dresden in the first half of the eighteenth century.

Descriptive line

Statuette, ivory, character from the Commedia dell'arte, Germany, perhaps Dresden, ca. 1900 (very likely a fake in the style of the first half of the eighteenth century)

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

p. 446
Trusted, Marjorie, Baroque & Later Ivories, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2013
Trusted, Marjorie, Baroque & Later Ivories, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2013, p. 446, cat. no. 488

Materials

Ivory

Categories

Sculpture; Performance art; Fakes & forgeries

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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