: "For the indie band, see Figurine (band)"
Dresden porcelain figurine] A figurine (a diminutive form of the word "figure") is a statuette that represents a human, deity, or animal. Figurines may be realistic or iconic, depending on the skill and intention of the creator. The earliest were made of stone or clay. Modern versions are made of ceramic, metal, glass, wood and plastic.

Figurines and miniatures are sometimes used in board games, such as chess, and tabletop role playing games. Figures with movable parts, allowing limbs to be posed, are more likely to be called dolls, mannequins, or action figures; or robots or automata, if they can move on their own.

Old figurines have been used to discount some historical theories, such as the origins of chess.

Porcelain is considered the finest of materials for figurines and other ceramics. There are many early examples from China where it originated, which drove the experimentation in Europe to replicate the process. The first European porcelain figurines, produced in a process mastered in Germany were known as Meissen ware after the city where it began. Soon the technique was copied in other cities, such as the one depicted to the right from Dresden.

The terms "inaction figures" (originally used to describe Kevin Smith's View Askew figurines) and "staction figures" (a portmanteau of statue and action figures coined by Four Horsemen artists to describe "Masters of the Universe" figures) have been used to refer to figurines of comic book or sci-fi/fantasy characters without movable parts.


In China, there are extant Neolithic figurines. [Li Liu, "The Chinese Neolithic: Trajectories to Early States", 2004, Cambridge University Press, 328 pages ISBN 0521811848] Prehistoric figurines of pregnant women are called Venus figurines, because of their presumed representation of a female goddess, or some connection to fertility. The two oldest known examples are made of stone, were found in Africa and Asia, and are several hundred thousand years old. Many made of fired clay have been found in Europe that date to 25-30,000 BC, and are the oldest ceramics known.

In Minoan Crete terracotta figurines manifesting facial detail have been recovered from the Iron Age strata. [ [ C.Michael Hogan, "Phaistos Fieldnotes", The Modern Antiquarian (2007)] ]

These early figurines are among the first signs of human culture. One cannot know in some cases how they were used. They probably had religious or ceremonial significance and may have been used in many types of rituals. Many are found in burials. Some may have been worn as jewelry or intended to amuse children.

ee also

*Hummel figurine
*Olmec figurine
*Royal Doulton
*Miniatures Museum of Taiwan


External links

* [ Miniatures en métal, soldats & miniatures de plomb, objets de collections]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • figurine — [ figyrin ] n. f. • 1625; peint. 1578; it. figurina, dimin. de figura ♦ Statuette de petite dimension (bilboquet, magot, poupée, poussah). Les tanagras, figurines de terre cuite découvertes à Tanagra. Figurine de Noël. ⇒ 2. santon. « Les… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Figurine — bezeichnet: in der darstellenden Kunst eine kleine Statue eine US amerikanische Electronica Band, siehe Figurine (Band) The Figurine, einen nigerianischen Film aus dem Jahr 2009 Siehe auch:  Wiktionary: Figurine – Bedeutungserklärungen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • figurine — 1854, from Fr. figurine (16c.), from It. figurina, dim. of figura, from L. figura (see FIGURE (Cf. figure) (n.)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Figurine — Fi gu rine (? or ?), n. [F., dim. of figure.] A very small figure, whether human or of an animal; especially, one in terra cotta or the like; distinguished from {statuette}, which is applied to small figures in bronze, marble, etc. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Figurine — (v. lat.), 1) kleine geschnitzte, gemalte od. gegossene Figur; 2) kleine Nebenfigur in Landschaften …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Figurine — (lat.), Figürchen …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Figurine — Figurīne (lat.), Figürchen; Nebenfigur, bes. in Landschaften; Modebild, Kostümmodell …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Figurine — Figurine,die:⇨1Plastik(1) …   Das Wörterbuch der Synonyme

  • figurine — ► NOUN ▪ a small statue of a human form. ORIGIN Italian figurina small figure …   English terms dictionary

  • figurine — [fig΄yo͞o rēn′, fig΄yərēn′] n. [Fr < It figurina, dim. of figura < L: see FIGURE] a small sculptured or molded figure; statuette …   English World dictionary

  • Figurine — Une figurine est une statuette de petite taille ou une représentation à l échelle d un sujet animalier, d un être humain, d une divinité ou même d un personnage de fiction (héros de bande dessinée, personnage de film, ....) MDM Figurine… …   Wikipédia en Français

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