A fine gold-mounted Meissen royal portrait snuff box, circa 1755
Lot 13
A fine Meissen gold-mounted circular snuff box with a portrait of Maria Josepha, Electress of Saxony and Queen of Poland, circa 1755
Sold for £56,400 (US$ 94,798) inc. premium
Lot Details
A fine Meissen gold-mounted circular snuff box with a portrait of Maria Josepha, Electress of Saxony and Queen of Poland, circa 1755
Painted around the side with a continuous landscape scene depicting figures and buildings in a river landscape, the base with a scene depicting figures in front of a grand house by a riverbank, the cover depicting a horseman and other figures with buildings on the bank of a river, the inside cover superbly painted by Johann Martin Heinrici with a bust portrait of Maria Josepha, Electress of Saxony and Queen of Poland, the wavy gold mounts chased with foliage, 7.4cm diam; 4.2cm high

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Alfred Joseph Collection, no. 1681

    Literature:
    Beaucamp-Markowsky 1985, no. 90;
    Beaucamp-Markowsky 1988, no. 26;
    Cassidy-Geiger (ed.) 2007, fig. 1-32, cat. no. 15

    Exhibited:
    Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, 1972-2003;
    London, Gilbert Collection, Somerset House, 2003-2008;
    New York, The Bard Graduate Centre for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design and Culture, Fragile Diplomacy: Meissen Porcelain for European Courts, ca. 1710-63, 15 November 2007-10 February 2008, no. 15;
    Barnard Castle, Co. Durham, The Bowes Museum, 2008-2010

    Porcelain snuff boxes with a portrait of Maria Josepha of Saxony are recorded in the 1765 inventory of Count Brühl's possessions ('Eine porcellaine Tabattiere, worinnen Ihro Königl. Hoheit der Chur Fürstin Portrait' - quoted in Schwanenservice 2000, p. 239), and in the 1748 list of the dowry of the Queen's daughter, Maria Antonia, who married the Elector of Bavaria in 1747 ('Eine Tabattiere von Sächß. Porcellaine in Gold gefasst, worinnen Sr. Mait: der Königin in Pohlen Portrait befindlich', quoted by Cassidy-Geiger 2007, p. 23, n. 54).

    Maria Josepha, Electress of Saxony and Queen of Poland (1699-1757), was the eldest child of the Holy Roman Emperor, Joseph I, and his wife, Wilhelmina Amalia, Princess of Braunschweig-Lüneburg. She was heiress to her uncle, Emperor Charles VI, until the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713, which excluded her in favour of Charles VI's daughter, Maria Theresia. In 1719, she married the Electoral Prince of Saxony, Friedrich August (from 1733 Elector of Saxony, and the following year, as Augustus III, King of Poland). At the outbreak of the Seven Years War in 1756, she remained in Dresden, where she died the following year.

    This portrait is identical to that on a porcelain plaque in the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Porzellansammlung im Zwinger, painted and signed by Johann Martin Heinrici and dated 1756, which is probably based upon a portrait of Maria Josepha by Pietro Rotari (see Unter eine Krone, exhibition catalogue, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden 1997, cat. no. 545).
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