Among the Connoisseur of Malvern human studies genre is a sub-category of ballet sculptures, most (but not all) designed by Richard Sefton. They all date from the early to mid 1980s. I have found images of, or references to, seven of these but suspect there were probably a few more.
The lovely Dance Fantastic may have been the studio’s first ballet study, in 1981 as an issue of 15. Its issue price is unknown at present but an undated USA retail list shows it at $8250. The flower is – aptly – Camellia japonica ‘Ballet Dancer’, an American hybrid from 1960. The sculpture measures 19″ h x 17″ w x 12″ d (48.25cm x 43cm x 30.5cm) and came with a recessed cypress wood plinth as shown.
Arabesque is taken from the dream sequence of The Nutcracker and was issued in 1982. This was an edition of 15 designed by Richard Sefton and is 24″ high and 19″ wide (61cm x 48cm). The rose in this study is ‘Jeanne Lajoie’ which is a double pink miniature climber that blooms repeatedly through the season. Arabesque retailed for $7500 in 1987.
Michelle was an edition of 25, standing 15″ (38cm) high. It was an exclusive design for Brielle Galleries and was probably designed by Richard Sefton.
This wondrous study is named Romeo and Juliet…The Dance and was an edition of 15 in 1984 at $9750. It is an impressive yet consummately graceful piece at 24″ high, 14″ wide and 12.5″ deep on its accompanying cherry plinth. (61cm x 35.5 cm x 33 cm) Designed by Richard Sefton.
Bob Russell designed The Dream, an issue of 100 in 1986. It is 16″ (40.5cm) high overall and the base has an intricate parquet design. The underside of the wood base has an opening through which the backstamp can be viewed.
Issued the same year (1986) and also by Bob Russell is Finale. It too was an edition of 100 and has the realistic ‘inlaid floor’ wood base. There is a small dowel extending up from the center of the base, unto which the ballerina is placed; the backstamp is viewed from the underside as in The Dream. Measurements are 8″ high and 13.5″ long (20cm x 34.25cm).
La Demoiselle du Lac (subtitled Lady of the Lake ballerina with Swan Lake Roses) was an edition of 50, possibly introduced in 1989; a retail price list that year shows it for $7200. Her posture brings her to 17″ (43 cm) high; although the photo angle makes the lower section seem compact, it actually measures 12″ x 7.5″ (30cm x 19cm). Unlike the other ballet studies, this is not shown with a wood base — at least not in the Connoisseur of Malvern brochure within which this photo appeared. The rose hybrid ‘Swan Lake’ is a repeat-blooming climber from the late 1960s.
Images of Connoisseur of Malvern porcelain sculptures herein are provided for informational and educational purposes only, not for reproduction, resale or advertising. All photographs are copyrighted by their owner as indicated via watermark. Photographs with a Connoisseur watermark originally appeared within their copyrighted publications and appear here via the kind permission of Connoisseur of Malvern, Ltd.