Object in Focus
Meissen porcelain figure group of children imitating adults, Germany, 1760-1765.
Meissen porcelain figure group of children imitating adults, Germany, 1760-65, Victoria and Albert Museum.
The Mouche, Beauty Patch. Innovation, Name and Reputation
Object in Focus: Meissen Porcelain Figure Group of Children Imitating Adults
Prepared by: Corinne Thepaut-Cabasset, Victoria and Albert Museum
Read full paper here.
This figure group of hard-paste porcelain (H. 15 cm), painted in enamels and gilt, was made in Meissen (Germany) in about 1760-65. This group was probably modeled ca. 1758 by Johann Joachim Kändler (1706-1775) for the porcelain factory after the print by François-Bernard Lépicié (1698-1755). The three figures are taken from Lépicié after Coypel’s larger picture where other children are playing at dressing up and making up as adults.
A boy dressed as a gallant is wearing a waistcoat in puce-coloured (red) fabric with a lozenge pattern. He is approaching a girl at her toilette. The nude girl is seated on a rococo chair, is holding a mirror while putting a patch or rouge on her face. Behind her a girl dressed as a maid standing on a stool places a wreath of flowers on her head. On a rococo flowered base, sits a box containing various bottles and boxes for body care and make up. An opened patch box is lying next to the chair.
This scene is clearly a satire about fashion and fashionable accessories such as beauty patches.
Related material (visual, textual sources)
The Mouche -related visual sources.
Jeu d'enfans, Print made by Francois-Bernard Lepicie, after Charles-Antoine Coypel, © Bibliotheque Nationale de France.
Le Matin. La dame a sa toilette, print by Gilles-Edme Petit (1694-1760), after a painting by Boucher, The British Museum.
Marquise Dangeau a sa toilette, Print by Antoine Trouvain (1656-1708), © RMN (Chateau de Versailles)
Patch Box, Charles’s Gouyn porcelain factory, London, ca. 1749-1754 , © Victoria and Albert.
L’art de la coiffure des dames françaises, © The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Designs (6 on 1 sheet) for a set of five boxes: Ducrollay album
Meissen Porcelain Figure Group of Children Imitating Adults fact sheet:
Berling, K., Meissner Porzellan und seine Geschichte, Leipzig, 1900, p. 197.
1765 Price List: “Groupe von 3 Kinders mit Galenterie-Kästel. 18 Thlr. 18 Gr.”
Contribute to our knowledge
Have you encountered this object in your research? In your country? What is it called in your language?
Contribute to our knowledge section by sending us the following information using the form at the bottom of this page:
- more images of the object
- textual references to the object
- photographs or other illustrations showing the object in use
- any other information you may have about the object