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The Rape of Helen: C.184-1932

Object information


The Rape of Helen


Frankenthal Porcelain Factory (Factory)
Lanz, Johann Wilhelm (Modeller)


Hard-paste porcelain, painted in enamels, silvered, and gilt.

Hard-paste porcelain painted overglaze in blue, pale greyish-green, green, flesh pink, dark pink, red, brown, and black enamels, silvered (now appearing as black), and gilded. The oval base is recessed underneath and has four suport struts projecting from the outer edge towards the middle at irregular intervals. The outer edge is moulded with waves coloured greyish-green surrounding the white clinker-built boat. A boatman kneels holding the rudder with his back to the viewer on the left end of the boat. He is nude apart from a white drape decorated with scattered green floral sprays. Paris stands with legs astride, holding up Helen in both arms. He wears a silver helmet and cuirass, and over his right shoulder a white cloak with scattered blue floral sprays which extends down to the top of the boat. His sandals are gold. Helen is nude except for a white drape decorated with scattered red floral sprays.


History note: Uncertain before donor, Mrs W.D. (Frances Louisa) Dickson, Bournemouth

Legal notes

Given by Mrs W.D. Dickson

Measurements and weight

Height: 32.5 cm
Length: 22 cm
Width: 11.3 cm

Relative size of this object

22 cm32.5 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Place(s) associated

  • Frankenthal ⪼ The Palatinate ⪼ Germany

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1932) by Dickson, W. D. (Frances Louisa), Mrs


3rd quarter 18th Century
Production date: circa AD/CE 1760


On accession the model was attributed to Johann Friedrich Lück

This group derives from a bronze by Phillipe Bertrand (1771-1724) now in the Musée du Chateau de Fontainebleau, of which there is a reduced size cast in the Hermitage in St Petersburg. The bronze was engraved by Louis Desplaces (1782-1739) after a drawing by Charles-Joseph Natoire (1700-77), and was presumably the direct source for the porcelain. In the print, however, the boatman does not hold a rudder.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration: composed of enamel ( blue, pale greyish-green, flesh pink, dark pink, red, brown, and black) gold

Materials used in production

Glaze Hard-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Moulding : Hard-paste porcelain. mouled in parts, assembled, glazed, and painted overglaze in blue, pale greyish- green, green, flesh pink, dark pink, red, brown, and black enamels, silvered (now appearing as black), and gilded. The oval base is recessed underneath and has four suport struts projecting from the outer edge towards the middle at irregular intervals.

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: R/Z
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Incised mark
  • Text: CT monogram under a crown
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue
  • Factory mark

Inscription present: circular white paper label printed with FRANCIS DICKSON reserve in a broad black border

  • Location: On underside of base
  • Method of creation: Printed in black
  • Label

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.184-1932
Primary reference Number: 140150
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 13 June 2017 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2020) "Figure group" Web page available at: Accessed: 2021-12-07 21:44:18

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url=|title=Figure group|author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2021-12-07 21:44:18|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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