The 20th century in the history of Meissen porcelain is referred to as the century of Paul Scheurich.
He was born in New York and emigrated to Berlin in 1900 where he studied at the Academy of Fine Art from 1900-1902. Scheurich developed a career as a graphic designer, book
illustrator and poster designer and was also a skilled sculptor. He began working for Meissen in 1913, and sculpted 87 figures over
the next 20 years.
His manneristic plastic (grotesque ballet characters, prissy ladies, capricious Cupids and relaxed putti) is the result of both ironical
and delighted attitude towards the bygone age of the courteous ladies and gentlemen.
The most famous of Scheurich’s series of figures is the Russian Ballet dancers. During the 1910s the whole Europe was facinated by
Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes which signified a new stage in the development of the musical theater.
May 20th, 1910 became the opening night for the one act ballet Carnival. It was shown in Berlin in Theater des Westens within the
frames of the Ballets Russes. The grotesque expressivity of the dance and the provocative beauty of the costumes were so bright,
so new, so unexpected that they served as a powerful creative impulse for young Scheurich.
In 1913 a series of five figures was created - Harlequin and Columbine, Pierrot, Eusebius, Chiarina and Estrella.
The bright overglaze painting emphasized the deliberate theatricality of the costumes and complied with the finical gestures.
The Russian Ballet figures became instant bestsellers. Meissen have made thousands of them over the years, and they still make them today!
Please contact us if you have one of these Meissen figures and would like to get a free appraisal or sell it. The value largely depends on age and condition.
Model D283 (A1001, 73302)
Model D285 (A1003, 73304)
Model D286 (A1004, 73305)
Model D284 (A1002, 73303)
|Harlequin and Columbine
Model D287 (A1005, 73306)
The Russian Ballet dancers were first marked with incised model number D283 thru D287. These number were used from 1913 when the figurines were first made until 1923.
After 1923, they were renumbered A1001 to A1005 in accordance with a new numbering system which was used until early 1970s. The A-plus-four-digits-numbers were issued
until 1940 to various models of freelancers, for reason of keeping an exact account of the royalties due.
In 1974 the new five-digit model numbering system was implemented with introduction of electronic data processing, and the model numbers for Russian Ballet dancers were
changed once again to 73302 thru 73306.
|Meissen series Russian Ballet by Scheurich
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