A Meissen teabowl and saucer from the service for the Elector Clemens August of Cologne circa 1735
Lot 34*
A Meissen teabowl and saucer from the service for the Elector Clemens August of Cologne, dated 1735
Sold for £34,850 (US$ 57,614) inc. premium
Lot Details
A Meissen teabowl and saucer from the service for the Elector Clemens August of Cologne, dated 1735
Each painted by Philipp Ernst Schindler with a chinoiserie scene on a gilt scrollwork bracket enclosing a quatrelobe puce camaieu harbour scene and embellished with Böttger lustre, the saucer depicting a seated figure painting the initials 'CA' on a shield held by a youth, the teabowl with a figure seated by a vase and another standing with a shield inscribed 'Cle/ mens/ Au/ gust/ 1735', the reverse with the arms with lion supports on a puce bracket, the interior with a spray of indianische Blumen, the reverse of the saucer with three flower sprigs, gilt scrollwork borders to the rims, the teabowl: 4.6cm high; the saucer: 12.8cm diam., crossed swords marks in underglaze-blue, impressed Former's mark * inside footrim of saucer (2)


  • Provenance:
    Probably ordered by the Elector Clemens August of Cologne in 1735;
    Recorded in February 1761 in the Indianisches Haus in Brühl, and moved to Bonn the same year;
    Purchased at the auction of the late Elector's possessions at the Bonn Residence by Hofrat Vogel in the name of Herr von Demme in March 1764;

    Thomas Iwe, das Meissener Schokoladen-, Kafee-, und Teeservice des Kurfürsten Clemens-August von Köln. Keramos 189/190 (2005), pp. 3 - 51;
    Michael Unterberg, ein Meissener Kaffee, -Tee und Schokoladenservice für Kurfürst Clemens August von Köln. Keramos 189/190 (2005), pp. 53-95;
    Ulrich Pietsch, Passion for Meissen (2010), no. 72

    This teabowl and saucer bear the coat of arms of Clemens August of Bavaria, Elector of Cologne (1700-1761). Born in Brussels, he was the fourth son of Elector Maximilian II Emanuel of Bavaria and Teresa Kunegunda Sobieska, and the grandson of King Jan III Sobieski of Poland. Following his theological studies, Clemens August became a priest in 1725 and was made a bishop by Pope Benedict XIII in 1727. By virtue of his birth, he had already become Bishop of Münster and Paderborn in 1719, and in 1723, he became Archbishop and Elector of Cologne and was elected Bishop of Hildesheim the following year. In 1728, he was elected Bishop of Osnabrück, and in 1732, he was elected Grand Master of the Teutonic Order. He thus accrued enormous power and wealth in both the religious and secular spheres, and is renowned to this day for his patronage of the arts, his elegant court, and his magnificent castles, such as Augustusburg and Falkenlust in Brühl, and Clemenswerth near Osnabrück.

    The celebrated tea, coffee and chocolate service of which this teabowl and saucer formed a part, has recently been the subject of detailed studies by Thomas Iwe and Michael Unterberg (see Literature), and has also been considered in the context of diplomacy between the courts in Dresden and Cologne (Köhler 2007), on which the following note is mostly based.

    The Saxon ambassador at the electoral Court in Cologne, Heinrich Balduin von Schenk, reported in the late 1720s that Clemens August held Meissen porcelain in high regard, and suggested at least twice that Augustus the Strong should make him a gift of porcelain (Köhler 2007, pp. 200-201). Despite this, it appears that this magnificent service, with its unique and highly personal scheme of chinoiserie figures paying homage to Clemens August, was most likely commissioned by the Elector, rather than a gift from the Dresden Court, with which relations were then strained. The inventory made after the Elector's death in 1761, records that the service was housed in the Indianisches Haus, a chinoiserie house in the park of Schloss Augustusburg, the third in Europe after Augustus the Strong's Japanese Palace and Schloss Pillnitz. The informal atmosphere that prevailed there may have been appropriate to the service, the decoration of which may also be read as a caricature of court ceremonial (Köhler, op. cit., p. 202).

    For the attribution of the hollow triangle mark to Philipp Ernst Schindler, first discovered by Helmut Joseph, see Stefan Bursche, Philipp Ernst Schindler und das hohle Dreieck. Keramos 161 (1998), pp. 39-48, and ills. 10-12 for other pieces from the Clemens August service painted by Schindler and bearing the triangle mark.

    The service originally included twelve such teabowls and saucers; for a comprehensive description of the service, and the current whereabouts of the pieces, see above Literature. A chocolate beaker and saucer and a teabowl and saucer from the service were sold in these Rooms from the Hoffmeister Collection, 25 November 2009, lot 78 and 24 November 2010, lot 66, respectively. Another teabowl and saucer from this service, was sold by Christie's London, 10 July 2007, lot 30.
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  1. Nette Megens
    Specialist - European Ceramics
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 8348
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  2. Sebastian Kuhn
    Specialist - European Ceramics
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    Work +44 20 7468 8384
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 8252