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The Peep Show, or the Magic Lantern (La Curiosité ou La Lanterne Magique)

A work made of soft-paste unglazed porcelain (biscuit).
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of soft-paste unglazed porcelain (biscuit).


c. 1757


Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory
French, founded 1740
Modeled by Etienne-Maurice Falconet (French, 1716-1791)

About this artwork

Beginning in the mid-1750s, biscuit, or unglazed porcelain, replaced glazed porcelain in sculpture because fine details were sometimes obscured by glazes. In addition, the matte surface of biscuit pieces resembled marble, a medium favored in sculpture. Unglazed porcelain figures were often sold with dinner services, and, as such, they replaced fragile sugar figures, which had adorned dessert tables of the previous era.


Currently Off View


Applied Arts of Europe


Manufacture nationale de Sèvres (Manufacturer)


The Peep Show, or the Magic Lantern (La Curiosité ou La Lanterne Magique)


Sèvres (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Soft-paste unglazed porcelain (biscuit)


15.6 × 16.8 cm (6 1/8 × 6 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Andrew G. Bustin

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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