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Museum of ceramic art

Tales of the Figurine

Tales of the Figurine
– from Nobility to Popularity

3 October 2017 – 23 September 2018

What is a figurine? In essence, the word refers to a smaller version of a large figure such as a person, an animal or an object.
The figurine originates from the confectioner’s table decorations. In Denmark, The Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory began making small figures intended for the dinner table in the late 18th century. Here they could serve as conversation topics for the guests. At that time, the porcelain figurines were reserved for the king, the nobility and the wealthy bourgeoisie.
By the end of the 19th century, new colorful glazes and firing techniques allowed the figurines to appear more naturalistic. The range of motifs was now expanding to include wildlife and livestock and, gradually, motifs from everyday life begin to emerge. Children, peasants and craftsmen were especially popular motifs.
As a genre, the figurine stands for a long and proud tradition and is still subject to exciting new interpretations.