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Much Too Much Flesh

This “Japanese woman” belongs to a set of 20 figures that was planned as a table decoration on the occasion of the marriage between the Prussian Crown Prince Wilhelm and Princess Cecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in June of 1905. This porcelain figure combines feminine charm and eroticism. The lute-playing Japanese woman, with her exposed breast, manifests a worldview that was shaped by European and male perspectives, and radiates the spirit of imperialist exoticism. Appalled by such an improper show of flesh, the bridegroom’s mother vetoed production of the figures. Undeterred, KPM, the royal porcelain manufacturers, put the series into production for the open market – to great success.


Japanese Woman with Lute, porcelain figure from a wedding procession


Adolf Amberg (design), KPM


» GNM Ke4492