Skip to main content

Girl dressed as a Sultana: C.3-1947

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


Girl dressed as a Sultana


Factory: Höchst Porcelain Manufactory
Modeller: Melchior, Johann Peter




Hard-paste porcelain painted in enamels and gilt.

Hard-past porcelain, press-moulded, glazed, and painted in pale blue two shades of green, yellow, orange, pink, grey and black enamels, and gilt. The glazed underside is divided into two by a transverse wall, and there is a large ventilation hole at the back. The approximately round base has a wavy, rocky edge, painted in shades of grey-green and pale green. The top is painted pale green with grey striations to resemble grass. The girl stands on her left leg with her right advanced, she holds her right hand to her breast, and her left advanced a little in front of her. The mask and fan she held are missing. She has delicately tinted pink cheeks, and dark brown eyes. Her pale grey hair is dressed in a high chignon and ornamented with two orange and two blue feathers, and a veil which is attached to her bodice at the front. She wears a white, gold-edged bodice over a pink and gold striped tunic and baggy pink trousers, a long pale yellow cloak attached to her left shoulder and right hip by blue bows, and blue shoes with yellow bows.


History note: Purchased from Stanley Woolston, Cambridge

Legal notes

Given by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum

Measurements and weight

Height: 17.6 cm
Height: 7 in
Width: 10.1 cm
Width: 4 in

Place(s) associated

  • Höchst-am-Main ⪼ Germany

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1947-01) by The Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum


18th Century, third quarter
Circa 1770 CE - 1775 CE


The figures were inspired by Meissen figures derived from prints of the Sultan and his court, and foreigners in Constantinope in the 'Recueil de Cent Estampes Representant differentes Nations du Levant . . .' commission by Charles de Ferrior (1652-1722) the French ambassador to the Ottoman Court from 1699 to 1711, published in Paris in 1714. A German edition with smaller prints, mainly in reverse, titled 'Wahrest und neueste Abbildung des Türckischen Hofes', was published in Nuremberg in 1719, and reprints of the 1714 edition appeared c. 1750 and 1765.

This figure and its companion, boy dressed as a Sultan (C.10-1947) known as the Sultan’s Children (Die Sultanskinder), catered for the taste for exotic objects in the mid 18th-late century. Many examples of both figures have survived. The modeller, Johann Peter Melchior, worked at Höchst from 1767 to 1779 when he moved to Frankenthal.

This girl, although very different in character, may have been influenced by a Meissen figure of a girl in Turkish costume, commissioned by the Parisien marchand-mercier, Gilles Bazin, and made c. 1756, for which drawings survive in the Historical Collection of the State Porcelain Collection at Meissen (VA 376).

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels ( pale blue, two shades of green, yellow, pink, orange, and grey) gold

Materials used in production

clear; except edges of base Glaze
Hard-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Press-moulding : Hard-past porcelain, press-moulded, glazed, and painted in pale blue two shades of green, yellow, orange, pink, grey and black enamels, and gilt
Glazing (coating)

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: dot over the 1

  • Text: N 13
  • Location: On front portion of base
  • Method of creation: Incised mark
  • Type: Incised mark
  • Text: 41 MG
  • Location: On front portion of base
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Incised mark
  • Text: wheel
  • Location: On rear portion of base
  • Method of creation: Painted underglaze in blue
  • Type: Factory mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.3-1947
Primary reference Number: 140249
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 11 October 2016 Last processed: Wednesday 13 December 2023

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 (2024) "Girl dressed as a Sultana" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-13 14:49:38

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Girl dressed as a Sultana |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-13 14:49:38|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...