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)

Visual 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.


Documentary sources

Designs (6 on 1 sheet) for a set of five boxes: Ducrollay album

Meissen Porcelain Figure Group of Children Imitating Adults fact sheet:




Bibliographic References

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.”



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