A Meissen écuelle for Princess Wilhelmine of Prussia circa 1735-1736
Lot 33*
A very rare Meissen royal écuelle and cover, circa 1735-38
£20,000 - 25,000
US$ 31,000 - 39,000

Lot Details
A very rare Meissen écuelle and cover from the service for Princess Wilhelmine of Prussia, circa 1735-1736 A very rare Meissen écuelle and cover from the service for Princess Wilhelmine of Prussia, circa 1735-1736 A very rare Meissen écuelle and cover from the service for Princess Wilhelmine of Prussia, circa 1735-1736
A very rare Meissen royal écuelle and cover, circa 1735-38
Of squat globular form, applied with swags of roses, cornflowers and forget-me-nots between burnished gilt rims, the interior gilt, the cover similarly applied with flowering branches forming the finial, the inside of the cover painted with a circular purple camaieu landscape scene reserved against a gilt floral border and the burnished gilt ground, 12.5cm high, crossed swords mark in underglaze-blue, impressed Former's mark * (2)

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Georg Spiegelberg Collection, Hannover, sold by Lepke's, Berlin, 4-5 December 1928 (along with ten other pieces from the service);
    With James A. Lewis & Son, New York;
    Anon. sale, Christie's New York, 20 May 2008, lot 99

    Literature:
    Ulrich Pietsch, Passion for Meissen (2010), no. 121

    This rare and precious type of decoration has been associated with gifts of Meissen porcelain to Queen Sophie Dorothea of Prussia or Princess Wilhelmine of Prussia in 1735, and Maria Josepha, Electress of Saxony and Queen of Poland in 1738. J.J. Kaendler's work reports for November 1735 refer to bouillon cups with covers and stands applied with swags of roses tied with ribbons (quoted by S. Wittwer, Liasons Fragile: Exchanges of Gifts between Saxony and Prussia in the Early Eighteenth Century, in Fragile Diplomacy (2007), p.101). The work records in May, June of 1738 and September of 1739 specify that the "flower service for Her Royal Majesty" (Maria Josepha) has applied decoration of other flowers as well as roses. This corresponds more closely with the decoration on the present lot, as well as related pieces recorded in the literature (see below). It is unclear, however, whether all the surviving pieces belong to a single service made for Maria Josepha, or whether further services or pieces in this style were produced.

    The posthumous inventory of 1761 of property belonging to Charles-Louis-Auguste Fouquet, comte de Belle-Isle, includes parts of a tea service and an ecuelle, cover and stand, that could correspond to the type of decoration on the present lot (Selma Schwarz, Gifts of Meissen Porcelain to the French Court, 1728-50. Frangile Diplomacy (2007), p. 145). Although Belle-Isle did receive a gift of porcelain from Augustus III in 1741, it does not appear to have included any pieces of this type.

    A service of this type was sold from a New York private collection by Parke-Bernet Gallery New York, 15 January 1955, lot 465 (comprising: a teapot and cover, a hot water jug and cover, a sugar bowl and cover, eight two-handled cups, covers and saucers and three shaped dishes; parts of which were subsequently in the collection of Siegfried and Lola Kramarsky - see below). A similarly decorated circular écuelle and cover, together with a teapot, a coffee pot, a milk jug, two covered two-handled cups with stands and a circular tureen, cover and stand, are in the collection of the Kunstgewerbemuseum, Berlin (illustrated by M. Cassidy-Geiger, The Arnhold Collection of Meissen Porcelain (2008), fig. 256.1; and by U. Pietsch / C. Banz, Triumph der blauen Schwerter (2010), no. 168). Other parts of the same or closely similar service were sold by the executors of the late Prince S.A. Radziwill at Christie's London, 4 July 1977, lot 170; and from the Kramarsky Collection, Christie's New York, 30 October 1993, lot 31 (of which a small two-handled bowl and cover is now in the Arnhold Collection, New York (Cassidy-Geiger, op. cit., no. 256). A pair of ecuelles, covers and stands is in the Louvre Museum, Paris (since 1884, inv. nos. TH582 and TH583). A coffee pot and cover, of which the spout, handle and applied flowers are covered in oxidised silver, is in the Grassi Museum, Leipzig (Dieter Gielke, Meissener Porzellan des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts (2003), no. 274. A small two-handled bowl and cover is in the Museo Giuseppe Gianetti, Saronno (L. Brambilla Bruni, Porcellane di Meissen (1994), no. 109). A covered two-handled cup and stand with similar applied decoration but without the purple landscape scenes is in the Hans Syz Collection (Hans Syz et al., Catalogue of the Hans Syz Collection (1979), no. 172).
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