A Very Decorative Pair of French Shop-Window Mannequin Busts c.1900

Origin: French
Period: Late 19thC/Early 20thC
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1900
Width: 16”
Height: 17.5"
Depth: 6” (all at extremities)

The pair of beautifully proportioned compressed paper and card bust mannequin forms, for the shop window display of jewellery and garments, each being of female form, the surfaces now bearing a superb aged patination, surviving from the zeniths of nineteenth century France.

The mannequin busts are superbly decorative with aged dirt and wax drippings, not being contrived in any way, and as such are wonderfully evocative. Structurally they are sound, with two wooden roundel inserts at the tops, which have been clearly used as candle holders at some stage explaining the presence of the wax on the busts. There is a dent to one of the forms to one flank, which has been repaired to the inner. They are freestanding.

These mannequin busts would have been made to order for one of the top window displays of its day, with full body forms also present in an effort to more closely mimic human activities. The French were the best at making such forms and these are probably by V.N. Siegel of Siegel & Stockman or a close contemporary.

Texture, colour and form all paramount here all, each making for a layered evocative sense of history and providing super decorative table-top effect.