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Female Figurine with Fruit Basket

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Artifact Description

The excavation of the SS Republic yielded four individual porcelain figurines, each representing a different character and theme. Likely of French origin, the figures are perhaps the product of one of the many 19th-century Limoges porcelain factories mass producing relatively inexpensive wares for the American market. Of the four figures, only one, a peasant girl carrying a basket of fruit nestled under her arm, bears some painted decoration-the remains of red pigment on her garment or shawl.

The artist who designed the ceramic figure added a shawl or veil, which is not only a part of her peasant costume but also served as a device that allowed the figure to be molded in one step. Otherwise, the head of the figure would have to be made separately and applied by hand, a more complex and expensive procedure. The only such example recovered from the site, this singular porcelain was perhaps the remains of a larger porcelain shipment or possibly a personal treasure carried in the baggage of a passenger or crew aboard the vessel.

Replicas of this artifact are available for purchase here.

Other Details

H: 9.5cm

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