Doppelhenkelbecher mit Unterschale
Lot 80
A Meissen armorial two-handled beaker and saucer from the service for Queen Ulrika Eleonora of Sweden circa 1732
Sold for £34,800 (US$ 58,432) inc. premium
Lot Details
A Meissen armorial two-handled beaker and saucer from the service for Queen Ulrika Eleonora of Sweden
circa 1732
Each superbly decorated with the arms of Queen Ulrika Eleonora of Sweden, the beaker with a harbour scene on the reverse depicting Oriental figures, within a shaped gilt scrollwork cartouche enclosing Böttger lustre and embellished with iron-red and purple scrollwork, the handles half gilt, the saucer with sprigs of indianische Blumen on the reverse, gilt foliate scrollwork borders to the rims, the saucer: 12.9cm diam., the beaker: 7cm high, crossed swords marks in underglaze-blue (within concentric circles on the beaker), impressed Dreher's mark of two dots (for Johann Martin Kittel) on the saucer (2)


  • Provenance:
    Ordered by Augustus the Strong, probably in late 1732;
    Given by Augustus III of Poland and Saxony to Queen Ulrika Eleonora of Sweden in May 1734;
    Transferred to the Royal Wardrobe after Queen Ulrika Eleonora's death in 1741;
    Anon. sale, Auktionverket Stockholm, 1 December 1992, lot 5249;
    Anon. sale (A European Private Collection), sold Sotheby's London, 17 June 1997, lot 52;
    Acquired in the above sale

    Hoffmeister 1999, II, no. 314;
    Ljungström 2007, p. 271, n. 24

    Hamburg, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, 1999-2009

    Part of a lavish gift of Meissen porcelain presented to Queen Ulrika Eleonora of Sweden in late May, 1734, by a Swedish colonel in the Saxon Swiss Guards, Count Axel Cronhielm, on behalf of Augustus III, King of Poland and Elector of Saxony. The gift, which consisted of several services and sets of decorative objects, is mostly still preserved in Swedish collections (see Ljungström 2007). Queen Ulrika Eleonora (1688-1741), the daughter of Charles XI, reigned in her own right for only a short time, between the death of her brother in November 1718, and February 1720, when she abdicated in favour of her husband, Friedrich, Landgrave of Hessen-Kassel (Frederik I of Sweden). The political and diplomatic purpose of Augustus III's gifts to Queen Ulrika Eleonora and her husband, lie in his manoeuvrings to succeed his father as king of Poland, although he himself claimed in his letter to the queen that the initiative for the gift has been his father's (see Ljungström, op. cit., for a comprehensive discussion).

    The Meissen manufactory archives include a list dated 1st February 1733 of finished and unfinished porcelain for the gift to Sweden ('Was vor Ihro Königl. Majestät in Schweden an Porcellain Geschirren bereits verferttiget und noch zu verferttigen ist..'), which indicates that the present tea and chocolate service for the Queen had already been finished: '2 Thee- und Chocolade-Servise, als: 1 fein emaillirtes mit Seefahrten, Landschaften und Wappen (ist verferttiget und geliefert)..' (2 tea and chocolate services, as: 1 finely enamelled with sea journeys, landscapes and arms (is completed and delivered). An earlier report of August 1732 indicates that one tea service (as well as a small table service and two chimney garnitures) has already been completed (quoted by Reinheckel 1989, p. 196, no. 66).

    An undated document quoted by Rainer Rückert suggests that the gift to Sweden was ordered by Augustus the Strong personally during a visit to Meissen before mid January 1733 (Rückert 1996, p. 86).

    It is interesting to note that the service for Queen Ulrika Eleonora was described in 1733 as a 'tea and chocolate service' even though it did not include a cylindrical chocolate pot, but rather the tall form usually described as a coffee pot. It seems likely that the 'coffee pot' form was also on occasion intended as a chocolate pot (Reinheckel 1989, p. 59; Ljungström 2007, p. 267).
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