An ormolu-mounted Meissen figure of a Chinese marching boy, 18th and 19th century
Lot 151
A Samson figure of a Chinese marching boy, circa 1870
Sold for £1,000 (US$ 1,680) inc. premium
Lot Details
A Samson figure of a Chinese marching boy, circa 1870
Modelled after the Meissen example, standing with one foot raised and wearing a yellow cloak decorated with Indianische Blumen and a leaf-shaped hat, on a contemporary ormolu mount with rich rococo scrollwork and applied porcelain flowers, 29cm high, Samson crossed swords mark to the back of the base (some flaking and retouching to the green enamel on his hat)


  • This figure is part of a series of objects made by the famous Samson factory founded by Edme Samson in 1845 with the intention to produce high-quality copies of ceramics and enamels, often after pieces from well-known collections. Samson's copies were not only supplied to the increasing well-established bourgeoisie, but also served a nobler purpose. Samson produced many pieces for famous museums. The Victoria and Albert Museum, for example, in 1889, ordered several pieces from Samson, mainly Dutch Delft, Rouen faience, Limoges enamels and German porcelain copies. Imitation was condoned, because it was a means of educating people in history and in good taste. For most educators in the second half of the 19th century, imitation was not considered a negative. It was merely a means of giving a clear or complete image of a certain period or subject.

    After the immensely successful International Exhibition of 1867 in Paris, a 'Convention was entered into by several Princes of Reigning families of Europe, whereby they agreed to mutually assist the museums of Europe in producing casts and copies of National objects for the promotion of art' , as published in a letter which forms the foreword to a series of small books entitled 'Catalogues of reproductions of objects of art (...) selected from the South Kensington Museum, continental museums and various other public and private collections, produced for the use of schools of the art, prizes, and for the general purpose of public instruction' (1868). Several similar catalogues were to follow. The Samson factory played a key-role in supplying museums around Europe with objects, and was widely hailed for its very high standard of production, and the great variety of objects it was able to reproduce.
  1. Nette Megens
    Specialist - European Ceramics
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
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