Princess Badoura - WMODA | Wiener Museum

Princess Badoura

Princess Badoura was the most prestigious and expensive figure ever made by Royal Doulton. It was made to order for wealthy clients for nearly 50 years and a special color version was devised for Harrods of London. Three different models are on display in the Fantastique exhibit at WMODA and Princess Badoura is one of the stars of the Celebration of Ceramic Art weekend.

In the Tales of the Arabian Nights, Badoura is a princess of China and the most beautiful woman ever seen upon the earth. She magically falls in love in her sleep with Prince Camar of Persia thanks to the supernatural antics of two genies, who boast of their rival beauty. In defiance of their families, the young couple steadfastly refuse to marry anyone else until they are reunited after a quest for each other across Arabia. Their dreams come true and the princess travels to her wedding in great splendor on the back of an elephant. This enchanting story was illustrated by Edmund Dulac in 1907 and by George Barbier in 1922.

The exquisite spectacle of the princess on her wedding day was modeled by Harry Stanton as a centerpiece for the Wembley Exhibition in 1924 and joined Royal Doulton’s Prestige collection in 1952. Only the most experienced ceramic artists were entrusted with the laborious decoration of this monumental figure which stands 20 inches high. It required over 160 hours of intricate painting and five kiln firings before gilders added the final embellishments of 22 carat gold. A new color version HN3921 was devised for Harrods department store in London in 1996 and a small limited edition version was modeled in 2001. In 2013, a miniature version HN5651 was launched to celebrate the centenary of the HN collection. The Wiener collection also includes a unique color trial which is on display in the Fantastique exhibit.

One Thousand and One Nights is a collection of Middle Eastern folk tales which were first translated into English in the early 1700s and became known as the Arabian Nights. The narrator of the tales is Scheherazade whose execution is postponed by the king night after night so that he can hear the conclusion of her stories, which are a mixture of romances, tragedies, comedies and erotica. For 1001 nights she tells tales of genies, ghouls, sorcerers, magicians and legendary places often intermingled with real people.


Fantastique Exhibition