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Hurdy-gurdy player: C.27-1954

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


Hurdy-gurdy player


Factory: Meissen Porcelain Factory
Modeller: Reinicke, Peter




Hard-paste porcelain, painted in enamels, and gilt

Hard-paste porcelain painted in yellow, green, red, brown, and black enamels, and gilt. The unglazed base has a small round ventilation hole near the back. The rounded square low mound base has a tree stump at the back, and is decorated on top with applied leaves, and a red, a yellow and a mauve flower. The hurdy-gurdy player stands on his left foot with right leg forward. He carries a large white hurdy-gurdy outlined in black, and with his right hand turns the handle of the wheel which sounds the strings, while with his left hand he plays upon the keys which stop the strings and thus obtain the notes. He has long brownish-black hair trailing untidily down his back, and wears a black hat with the brim turned up at the sides, a brown waistcoat with gold buttons, a long collarless white coat with two gold buttons at the top of the two back pleats, yellow breeches, white hose, and black shoes with yellow bows.


History note: Hyam & Co., London, from whom purchased by Lord Fisher on 22 November 1926 for £35; Cecil Vavasseur, 2nd Baron Fisher of Kilverstone and his wife Jane, Kilverstone Hall, Norfolk

Legal notes

Given by Lord Fisher and Lady Fisher through the National Art Collections Fund

Measurements and weight

Depth: 7 cm
Height: 20.2 cm
Width: 9.5 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Meissen ⪼ Saxony ⪼ Germany

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1954-01-14) by Fisher, Lord and Lady


18th Century, Mid
Frederick Augustus II (1696-1763)
Production date: circa AD 1745


This figure belongs to a set of Cries of Paris by Peter Reinicke or by Reinicke and Joahann Joachim Kaendler between 1745 and 1747. The Hurdy-gurdy player, Meissen model no. 960, was probably modelled by Peter Reinicke after Le Vieilleux, the 8th print in Études prises dans le bas Peuple ou les Cris de Paris, Quatrième Suitte, 1742, engraved by the comte de Caylus (1692-1765), after drawings by Edmé Bouchardon (1689-1762). The prints were issued in sets of twelve, two in 1737, and one in 1738, 1742 and 1746. The complete series, accompanied by the drawings, was bound and given by Bouchardon to his friend, Jean-Piere Mariette, the celebrated Parisian printseller and connoisseur, and is now in the British Museum (Print Room, Imp. 197.8c). The figure of the Hurdy-gurdy player is transposed from the figure in the print, and corresponds with the original drawing, but has a more exaggerated pose. The Meissen factory model number is 960.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels ( green, yelow, flesh pink red, maue, dark brown, and black) gold

Materials used in production

clear Glaze
Hard-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Press-moulding : Hard-paste porcelain, press-moulded, and painted overglaze in green, yellow, flesh pink, red mauve, dark brown, and black enamels, and gilded. The unglazed base has a small round ventilation hold near the back
Glazing (coating)

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.27-1954
Primary reference Number: 118353
Old catalogue number: 345
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 12 December 2023 Last processed: Tuesday 19 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Hurdy-gurdy player" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-16 02:35:24

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{{cite web|url= |title=Hurdy-gurdy player |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-16 02:35:24|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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