An extremely rare art deco porcelain figurine from the top German factory Rosenthal

A model of a Tarantella dancer modelled by Gustav Oppel circa 1920.

The tarantella is a traditional Italian folk dance that was believed to cure the bite of the tarantula spider. The name of the dance comes from Taranto, Italy, and the specific dance steps vary by Italian region.

Model # 877.

Green factory mark Rosenthal Selb-Bavaria to base; dated 1923. 

Stands 25.5 cm tall.

Condition: Missing end of the little finger, otherwise Excellent, no damage to the porcelain or gilding, checked with UV light.

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In stock


History of the Rosenthal factory

Philipp Rosenthal (1855-1937) began business in Germany in 1884. Initially he purchased white ware from the company Hutschenreuther which was resold door to door after being hand-painted by his wife Maria. In 1891, he established a factory in Asch, Bohemia and began production of his own white ware.

Into the twentieth century and a  more affluent Germany emerged with improved living conditions and a disposable income appeared. Rosenthal spotted the unfilled market and started mass scale production of porcelain aimed at the newly emerging market. In only two generations the family firm expanded into a world class player. With a vision for modern art, freelance artists were employed and the interior decoration business began. In 1910 the art department at Selb was founded employing designers such as Himmelstoss, Karner, Oppel, Holzer-Defanti, Liebermann, Cassmann and many others. The same year the factory won the gold medal for it’s quality porcelain at the world fair Paris. Over the decades other factories were acquired in ceramics, glass, utensils and furniture. It’s top quality porcelain is still admired today for the way they captured their subjects movement, form and liveliness.

Gustav Oppel (1891 – 1978)

German sculptor and modeller. Studied at the Royal School in Dresden, Munich and the Museum of Decorative Arts in Berlin, a pupil of Joseph Wackerle. From 1918 he was a freelance artist working for many of the German porcelain companies. He made designs for the Schwarzburger Werkstätten for Porzellankunst in Unterweißbach, the Aelteste Volksstedter porcelain factory in Rudolstadt, for Rosenthal in Selb and the Fraureuther porcelain factory. The prestigious designer created solely for Rosenthal more than 80 characters. Member of the Dresden Art Association, the Economic Association of Saxon craftsman, of the National Association of Artists and the Professional Association of Visual Artists in Berlin. His works impress with ease, grace, and grace in movement. 

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