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Statuette - A Beggar Woman

A Beggar Woman

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    France (Dieppe, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1730-1750 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr W.L. Hildburgh.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This statuette representing a beggar woman, a pair to one of a beggar man (A.11-1949) was previously thought to have been made Dresden in about 1730-1750.
It is reminiscent of Dresden ivory statuettes of beggars of the eighteenth century, many of which are in the Grünes Gewölbe, Dresden. These firgures may have had as their ultimate source the earlier engravings by Jacques Callot (1592/3-1635). Formerly such pieces used to be attributed to the Dresden artist Wilhelm Krüger (1680-1756), to whom the present statuettes of a beggar man and a beggar woman were attributed at the time of their acquisition. However there is no evidence Krüger worked in ivory. It is far more likely that the figures in the V&A were actually made in Dieppe ivories in the mid-nineteenth century.

Physical description

Statuette of a female beggar in ragged clothes, a rag tied round her hair and a cloak round her shoulders. She is playing a stringed musical instrument which she carries across the front of her body and seems to be singing, stepping forward with her left foot, whose toes are revealed through her damaged shoe. Around her waist, a pan, a water bottle and a chicken in a bag. A gourd and a bowl are suspended from her waist.

Place of Origin

France (Dieppe, made)


ca. 1730-1750 (made)



Materials and Techniques



Height: 15.3 cm

Object history note

Given by Dr W.L. Hildburgh F.S.A. in 1949. Formerly on loan from Dr HIldburgh.

Descriptive line

Statuette, ivory, a beggar woman, France (Dieppe), about 1850.

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

Cf. Pelka, O. Elfenbein. 1923, p. 277
Cf. Sponsel, J. L. Das Grüne Gewölbe zu Dresden : eine Auswahl von Meisterwerken der Goldschmiedekunst in vier Bänden. Leipzig, 1932, p. 96
Trusted, Marjorie, Baroque & Later Ivories, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2013, cat. no. 83



Subjects depicted

Bottle; Pan; Beggar; Chicken; Musical instrument




Sculpture Collection

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