An early Meissen tea cannister and cover, circa 1720, with lustre ground and moulded decoration
Lot 68
An extremely rare early Meissen hexagonal tea canister and cover, circa 1720
Sold for £12,500 (US$ 20,997) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
An extremely rare early Meissen hexagonal tea canister and cover, circa 1720
Decorated with a pink Böttger lustre ground, reserved with moulded flowering branches and birds, the ribs and shoulders with gilding, the cover with similar decoration and a single floral spray in moulded relief, 13cm high, (retouching to the cover) (2)


  • Provenance:
    European private collection

    The form is based on Chinese Yixing stoneware and Dutch and Hugenot silver shapes, (Schwartz Porcelain (2004), no. 76). It was produced at Meissen in both Böttger stoneware and porcelain; see J. Emerson, Coffee, Tea and Chocolate Wares in the Collection of the Seattle Art Museum (1991), no. 2, for examples of stoneware, undecorated and with black glaze and gilding, and in undecorated porcelain. In 1770, the Saxon royal collection still included fifteen of this model (quoted by A.L. den Blaauwen, Meissen Porcelain in the Rijksmuseum (2000), p. 29, nos. 7 and 8 for stoneware examples with different glazes. A similar porcelain model with athe mouldding reserved against a silver ground was in the Wolfgang von Dallwitz Collection (published by E. Zimmermann, Erfindung und Frühzeit des Meissner Porzellans (1908), ill. 97).

    The rare pink colour was developed around 1717, when it was described by the manufactory inspector Johann Melchior Steinbrück: 'vor kurtzen würklich eine neüe Arth von embellisement, so man PerlenMutter-oder Opalglasur nennet auf das weiße porcelain gebracht worden, so demselben ein neües uns sehr schönes Ansehen giebet' [recently an actual new kind of embellishment, called mother-of-pearl or opal glaze, was brought on white porcelain, which lends it a new and very beautiful appearance]; quoted by U. Pietsch/ C. Banz, Triumph der blauen Schwerter (2010), cat. no. 25, where a teabowl and cup with saucers with similar ground colour are illustrated.
  1. Sebastian Kuhn
    Specialist - European Ceramics
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 7468 8384
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 8252