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Portrait figurine of Captain Carl Jacob Cronstedt
H92001-112
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This rare figurine tells about the long distance trade between Sweden (Finland belonged to Sweden) and China in the 18th century. Chinese craftsmen were very skillful to adopt Western motifs. They combined them with refined traditional craft techniques and made fine products for export markets, too. They mass produced a lot of products as well as some extraordinary pieces of decorative art such as this figurine.

History of the Object
This figure was made by a Cantonese portrait sculpture manufacturer in the 1750s. A Swedish Captain Carl Jacob Cronstedt (1714–1769) presumably obtained it on a visit to China. When C. J. Cronstedt passed away, it was most likely inherited by his brother Johan Gabriel Gronstedt (1720–1774), and later on by his nephew vice-admiral Carl Olof Cronstedt (1756–1820). In 1992 the Cronstedt family sold it to the museum.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Clay, wood, painted 
Measurements
Height 42 cm  
Creator name
A Cantonese portrait sculpture manufacturer 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China; Canton 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 18th century ~ AD 18th century 
Creation date
18th Century; In the 1750s 
Function
A souvenir from China used as a decorative item in Sweden and Finland. 
Acquisition
The figurine was bought by the National Museum of Finland from the Cronstedt family in 1992. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
Text by Eija-Maija Kotilainen Photo Rauno Träskelin, 2005 Kuurne, Jouni. Kapteeni Cronstedt kasvojentekijän luona. Suomen Museo. Helsinki 1993. 
Owner
State property, National Board of Antiquities, Finland 
Museum
Museum of Cultures, National Museum of Finland 
Credit line
 

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