“African” with elephant skin

Figurine, Royal Polish and Electoral Saxon Porcelain Manufactory, Meissen, Germany, mid-18th century, Porcelain.
Courtesy of Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg

The young man with the swiveling hips seems to come from hunting. Under his arm he wears an elephant skin that ends in a long trunk. The skirt and feather crown are reminiscent of the headdresses of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. For the modelers and painters of the Meissen porcelain manufactory around 1750, all these forms were available. To the courtly audience, they may have seemed plausible.