Although catalogued as ‘Continental’, this mid-19th century porcelain figure of a seated semi-nude ballet dancer below carries impressed marks for the factory established by the English entrepreneur Francis Gardner in the town of Verbilki near Moscow in 1766.
Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Terence Ryle
Gardner is best known for its series of idealised ‘old Russian’ characters: typically peasants, vendors and tradesmen who lived in the empire.
However, this 8½in (22cm) figure on its rococo base is from a series of more unusual and more risqué subjects made in the 1840s-50s. Skinner of Boston sold a group of them in 2006 for prices between $5000-10,000.
The ballet dancer came for sale at Fonsie Mealy (22% buyer’s premium inc VAT) in Castlecomer, Kilkenny, Ireland, on July 23. Pitched at €80-150, it attracted interest from buyers in Russia and the UK. It sold to a bidder using thesaleroom.com at €3200 (£3100).