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Following the success of The Singer, displayed nearby, in 1893 Ford produced a companion Egyptian nude, Applause. The figure is clapping rhythmically, perhaps while music or dance is performed. Ford researched his Egyptian symbols carefully and around the base are Ancient Egyptian deities in silver and an inscription which quotes from the ‘Song of the Harpist of Thebes’. The girl’s headdress is studded with semi-precious stones and decorated with enamel. The snakes are symbols of the Kingdoms and Upper and Lower Egypt. The quality of the casting is unrivalled, allowing precise detail and the suggestion of the surface of the model’s skin.

February 2010