This particularly rare figure portrays Maria Malibran (1808–1836), a renowned beauty and an international mezzo-soprano of extraordinary vocal range and power. In 1836, Miss Malibran suffered permanent head injuries when falling off a horse. After her accident she performed a handful of times before collapsing on the stage in Manchester in September 1836 and dying days later, aged 28 years old.
The figure is approximately 7.5″ inches tall and was made circa 1835. The design source is an engraving for the Dramatic Magazine after A. M. Huffman by J. Rogers.
Another version of the figure, from the same source, is held by the Fitzwilliam Museum, but Maria is wearing a red dress and the chaise longue is positioned the opposite direction.
More Figures of the month
This is a theatrical figure representing an actor in the role of Artabanes, from the opera Artaxerxes. The figure stands 11 3/4” tall, dates to approximately 1830-1840, and is very rare. There is a dagger in his right hand, part of the blade being hidden beneath his sash. The interior and the edging of his coat are fully lined with ermine.
This is a figure of Napoleon III with Prince Albert, each with a drum on the ground and to the side. The figure stands 10 ¾” and dates to about 1854.
This is a fine pair of Staffordshire clowns, both standing 6 ½” tall, dating to circa 1860. Each is wearing pantaloons, with the figure on the left holding a cane.
This is an interesting example of a Scottish hunter, wearing kilt and underglaze blue coat, with a dog at his knee and a rifle resting near his right hand. The figure stands 14 ¼” tall and dates to about 1860.
This is a pair of recumbent Bullmastiff dogs, approximately 6” tall, dating to around 1850-1860. This English breed was developed as a guard dog in the nineteenth century and is also known as the Gamekeeper’s Night Dog.
This is a rare figure of Prince Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales, second child and eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. He stands with his right hand resting on the head of a brown and white dog, and his left hand on the barrel of a rifle.