Lot 85
A highly important Meissen armorial beaker with the arms of Saxony/Poland and Naples/Sicily circa 1737-40
Sold for £25,200 (US$ 42,331) inc. premium
Lot Details
A highly important Meissen armorial beaker with the arms of Saxony/Poland and Naples/Sicily
circa 1737-40
Superbly painted with the arms over a continuous Kauffahrtei scene of merchants and their wares, the interior gilt, 7cm high, crossed swords mark within two concentric circles in underglaze-blue


  • Provenance:
    Gift of Augustus III, King of Poland and Elector of Saxony, to his eldest daughter, Maria Amalia, on the occasion of her wedding to Charles VII, King of Naples;
    The Property of Mrs. Dreyfus, Sotheby's London, 7 July 1970, lot 145;
    Dr. Albert Weitnauer Collection, Bern, sold Christie's Geneva, 11 November 1985, lot 351;
    Acquired in the above sale

    Hoffmeister 1999, II, no. 318

    Hamburg, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, 1999-2009

    The wedding of Princess Maria Amalia of Saxony (1724-1760) and Charles VII (1716-1788) took place by proxy in Dresden in May 1738. The same month, Maria Amalia travelled to Naples to meet her husband, accompanied by her sixteen-year-old brother, Crown Prince Friedrich Christian, who was embarking on his Grand Tour of Italy, including a visit to Naples to seek treatment for a spinal condition (Cassidy-Geiger 2004).

    The new queen apparently received from her father a gift of a silver toilet service, which included six teabowls and saucers and six chocolate beakers. A Meissen manufactory specification of 17 April 1738, records that '6 Schaelgen und Coppgen inwendig gantz verguld, mit dem Koenigl. Pohl. Saechs. und Sicilianischen Wappen 6 Choclate Becer bedies in die grosse Toilett gehoerig [...] annoch in Arbeit und zu liefern' (6 saucers and bowls completely gilt on the inside, with the Royal Polish Saxon and Sicilian arms 6 chocolate beaker both belonging to the large toilet [...] still in production and to be delivered) (quoted by Boltz 1978, p. 5; see also Cassidy-Geiger 2007, p. 218 and n. 50). A lavish gift of porcelain to mark the occasion was also made to Charles VII's mother, Elizabeth Farnese, Queen of Spain (Boltz 1978; Cassidy-Geiger 2007, pp. 213ff).

    No silver apparently survives from this toilet service, which was probably silver-gilt, and it may have been melted down (Cassidy-Geiger 2007, n. 50). Including the present lot, only three beakers and four teabowls are recorded in the literature: two beakers were sold by Christie's London, 2 December 1974 (one now in the Malcolm D. Gutter collection (Cassidy-Geiger 2008, fig. 10-20); the second formerly in the Vivolo collection, published in d'Agliano / Melegati 2001, no. 99, sold by Sotheby's Milan, 13 November 2007, lot 145); and a total of four teabowls, of which two were sold by Christie's London, 11 May 1987, lot 188 (of which one was previously sold by Christie's London, 2 December 1974, while the second has been in the Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche di Faenza since 1994), and two sold from the Ernesto Blohm collection (Christie's London, 10 April 1989, lot 31, previously sold by Sotheby's London, 7 July 1970, lot 146).