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H.C. Andersen Items


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Royal Copenhagen 1238 Princes and the Pea " White uper half of the famous figurine - small flaws - please ask for detail
Gerhard Henning (1880--1967)

The Princess and the Pea

The Princess and the Pea represents a peak of decorative art in the annals of The Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory's production. It takes same seven or eight months to produce the final figure, same six months alone being taken up in its decoration.

The subject derives from Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale of the same name. In the story Andersen mocks certain concepts of distinction and rank prevalent in the society of his time with a gentle but obvious irony. It will be recalled that the princess was so sensitive that she became "black and blue all over" after lying on a bed composed of twenty mattresses and twenty eiderdowns, under which there was a pea. Just this quality made everyone believe that she was a real princess.
The Princess on the Pea is a major work of Gerhard Henning’s first period at the factory (1909-1914). The subject was ideally suited to his style at that time when he indulged in a meticulously delicate and refined attention to detail. Andersen's tale gave free rein to Gerhard Henning's imagination which went far beyond a mere characterisation of the princess' almost ethereal delicacy. A kaleidoscopic dream world is depicted on the many surfaces of the sculpture, a dream world straight from the pages of the One Thousand and One Nights. There are Chinese dragons, Persian warriors with swords at the ready, children at play, odalisques abound ­all set in a rich ornamentation.
The figure was first executed in 1911. In the following year it was awarded the 1st Class Medal at the Salon in Paris, where it was generally deemed to be one of the finest pieces of European porcelain of the period.
Gerhard Henning was born in Stockholm, taking up permanent residence in Denmark in 1909. In 1931 he became a naturalized Danish citizen. Having been trained as a house decorator h