An important Meissen group of Colombine and Pantalone, circa 1736
Lot 69
An important Meissen group of Colombine and Pantalone, circa 1736
Sold for £97,250 (US$ 163,459) inc. premium
Auction Details
An important Meissen group of Colombine and Pantalone, circa 1736 An important Meissen group of Colombine and Pantalone, circa 1736
Lot Details
An important Meissen group of Colombine and Pantalone, circa 1736
Colombine seated on a rocky base, in her right hand, hidden behind her back, she holds a mask, in her left hand a rose, which she holds up to Pantalone, who is standing, leaning towards her, all on a tight flat rockwork base, 16.5cm high, traces of blue crossed swords mark to the base (feather on her hat restored, leaf to rose in her hand restored, tips of both her shoes restored, some minor repair to the edge of the base, the corner of her right cuff ground down marginally)


  • This group was remodelled several times and of the three earlier models, this is the earliest, dated by Rückert (1966, p.166, cat. no.863) to 1736. Although the original model is not recorded in Kaendler's Arbeitsberichte, in August 1738, there is a reference to the group being remodelled (Arbeitsberichte, p.56): Dem Pantaleon Nebst seinem bey sich habenden Frauen Zimmer Verneuert und solches Groppgen zum abformen aufs Neue tüchtig gemacht, Weiln Vorige Forme Nach öfftern gebrauch Wandelbar Worden. Darzu ist noch ein Verziertes Taberettgen worauf ein Hündgen gelegt, und neben die Figür gesetzt werden kann, gefertigt worden [Pantaleon renewed along with his female companion and the group made ready for moulding again, because the old mould became worn after frequent use. In addition, an embellished table was modelled on which lies a small dog, which can be placed next to the figure].

    Another very early example of this group can be found in the Pauls-Eisenbeiss Collection in the Kirschgarten Museum in Basel, illustrated in the catalogue of the collection (Pauls-Eisenbeiss 1972, p.348ff). Ingelore Menzhausen (In Porzellan verzaubert, 1993) also illustrates the group (p. 124), noting that in Kaendler's Arbeitsberichte of July 1741 there is reference to the remodelling of the present group due to the deterioration of the old model: Cropgen der Pantaleon Vorstellend nebst seinem bey sich habenden Frauen Zimmer Völlig erneuert solches aufs Sauberste auspoussiret und aufs neue brauchbar gemacht Weiln die Forme Vorhero gänzl. Ruiniret und unbrauchbar worden [Group of Pantaleon next to his female companion completely renewed, remodelled and made useable anew, because the form was completely ruined and unusable]. The remodelling appears to have been completed in August of that year: Das neue Cropgen, den Pantaleon genannt, zerschnitten, und solches Modell zum abformen tüchtig gemacht und befördert. [The new group, called Pantaleon, taken apart, and made the model suitable for remoulding and passed on]. See also Arbeitsberichte 2002, p.80ff.

    In both the present group and the figure in the Pauls-Eisenbeiss collection, the cloak draped over Colombine's shoulders that features on the remodelled groups is absent, and her mask is hidden behind her back, which gives the group a very three dimensional quality. In the version in the Pauls-Eisenbeiss collection, Colombine is holding up a mirror to Pantalone, in an act to ridicule his affection; in the present group, she holds a rose in her hand that appears to offer more hope regarding his affections for her. The group also lacks the encrusted flowers to the base. This combined with the strong features in the face of Pantalone and cruder treatment of the hair of Colombine again point to a very early date. Another example of the earliest model of this group is in the collection of Irwin Untermyer, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (Hackenbroch 1956, figure 69). This group is perhaps closest to the present lot as it also shows Colombine offering Pantalone a rose, and the applied flowers to the base are also absent. The model and its re-worked versions of 1738 and 1741 are further discussed by Den Blaauwen (2000, cat. no. 316) where the author lists all the known examples of the three versions of the model.
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