Antique porcelain portrait candlesticks featuring a provocative image of a Victorian woman wearing an outlandishly decorated hat. This portrait is the same for both pieces and is only shown on one side. The portrait is part of a famous women series that Rosenthal produced. Please read on for more history on this set. The rest of the porcelain is a white background with the portrait done in cobalt blue. The mold is very decorative with heavy gold hand painted trim. The base also has a light blue area in between each scallop.
The portrait is that of Olga Nethersole in her role in the play Sapho that ran in London in 1900. In 1900 John Fitch (one of the most popular playwrights of the period) wrote a play called Sapho, which starred legendary stage star Olga Nethersole. The play was based on a French novel and Nethersole's character Fanny is a sexually active woman who seduces a variety of young men. The play opened at the Warrick Theater on February 5, 1900. New York papers derided the production as immoral. On March 5, 1900 the New York City Police Department raided the theater and arrested Nethersole.
We have included a copy of an actual lithograph done of Nethersole during this time period which matches perfectly the portrait depicted on both candle sticks. One of these would be rare but a pair is just an exceptional find to add to your Rosenthal collection!
Hallmarked with the Rosenthal R&C crossed swords mark telling us that these were manufactured c. 1900-1906. There is also Germany stamped on them and the phrase Sapho Gal. Louvre in gold. The Versailles mold was started at the Rosenthal Selb factory in 1894.
Measuring 6 inches tall we find slight wear to the gold areas but no damage to porcelain. We would say the gold is 90% intact.