Figurine representing Susannah Cibber

Figurine representing Susannah Cibber

This figurine represents Susannah Cibber as Sigismunda, the vivandière in James Thomson's tragedy Tancred and Sigismunda. In the 18th century a vivandière was a woman who sold food and drink to soldiers and was often a soldier's wife. Susannah Cibber played Sigismunda opposite David Garrick as Tancred at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 1756. Garrick played Tancred in the original production in 1745 and he frequently revived the play at Drury Lane.

The figure was produced by the Derby factory as a pair to the figurine of Garrick as Tancred. The Derby porcelain factory was established in about 1750 by the Huguenot, Andrew Planche. In partnership with William Duesbury, they produced figures of extremely high quality. By 1770 Duesbury acquired the famous Chelsea China Works and the Bow moulds which resulted in the transfer of a number of extremely skilled craftsmen from London to Derby. They opened a London showroom in 1773 and in 1775 King George III granted the factory the honour of being able to incorporate a crown into the backstamp.