Polychrome terracotta figures

Collection of polychrome terracotta figures (India, late 19th century), Antique dealer

These small figures, often no larger than 20cm high, were made as souvenirs and depict various trades and occupations. This group was of a particularly high standard; modelled from sun baked fibrous clay using bamboo pegs to attach the various elements of the body, the final detail carved into the surface. The painted detail is of an extraordinary fine quality and incorporates human hair, miniaturised textiles and attributes for added realism.

The figures are very fragile and had suffered numerous breakages, losses and previous crude restorations. Previous restorations were removed. Detached elements were reattached and missing elements were reconstructed and integrated. Reconstructions were often helped by studying similar figures from the collection.

In pictures

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Dancer before conservation Dancer after conservation Fakir before conservation Fakir after conservation