A very rare Meissen armorial domed cover (Wärmeglocke) from the Campoflorido service, circa 1741
Lot 73
A very rare Meissen armorial domed cover (Wärmeglocke) from the Campoflorido service, circa 1741
£14,000 - 16,000
US$ 24,000 - 27,000
Lot Details
A very rare Meissen armorial domed cover (Wärmeglocke) from the Campoflorido service, circa 1741
Finely painted with the arms of Campoflorido and flowering peony branches, bamboo and scattered insects, wavy brown-edged rim, mounted with a gilt-bronze foliate finial, 27cm diam.; 19cm high, crossed swords mark in underglaze-blue


  • Provenance:
    Anon. sale, Christie's London, 28 June 1976, lot 112;
    E.A. Titgemeyer Collection, Osnabrück, acquired in 1979

    This coat-of-arms had been long thought to belong to the Mauro d'Aversa family, which has obscured the history of the Meissen porcelain painted with these arms. It is now known that the arms belong to Don Luigi Reggio e Branciforte, known as the prince of Campoflorido. Campoflorido was the Spanish ambassador to Venice at the time of Crown Prince Friedrich Christian of Saxony's Grand Tour of Italy between 1738 and 1740. The Campoflorido arms on this service include ermine and the Order of St. Januarius, which was established by the King of Naples on 8 July 1738 to commemorate his marriage to Princess Maria Amalia of Saxony. The service is thought to have been given as a gift in gratitude for Campoflorido's hospitality during the crown prince's stay in Venice.

    The service in its entirety was much admired in 1745 by the duc de Luynes, when he observed it in use at a dinner in Campoflorido's home in Paris, and he made particular note of the domed covers, or 'cloches': 'There were two occasions for this meal: the happy delivery of a baby by the Queen of Two Sicilies (even though some time had passed, Mr. de Campoflorido had not given a meal since); the other occasion the birth of Mme Infanté, who was born on the 14th of this month. We noted a very beautiful porcelain service which was used at both tables; it displayed the coat of arms of the ambassador; it seemed quite substantial; there are even covers to go over the plates. The Royal Prince of Poland, on his way to see his sister in Naples, passed through Venice, and was well received by Mr. de Campoflorido. He (the Prince of Poland) gave him (Mr. de Campoflorido) a gift and has added to it since then. M. the Ambassador, desiring a few more pieces, had sent money to Dresden. The King of Poland, however, after finding out that it was for him, commanded that his money be sent back to him and that he be sent the porcelain he desired.' (quoted by Cassidy-Geiger 2007, p. 229).

    Campoflorido also received an armorial tea, coffee and chocolate service, the arms of which do not include the Order of St. Januarius, which suggests that this service probably predates the larger table service. This is supported by the fact that the smaller service has impressed Dreher's marks, which also suggests a date of manufacture before 1739, whereas the table service has impressed numerals. This may explain the reference in a letter of January 1740, in which the Saxon agent in Venice wrote to Count Brühl that he had mentioned to Prince Campoflorido that the porcelain promised to him would be ready in February, yet the table service is not mentioned in the manufactory work reports until June 1741, although it is possible that existing models were used prior to this date. Intriguingly, Count Brühl wrote to the Saxon agent in Venice in December 1740, requesting another rendering of Campoflorido's arms, since the original at Meissen had been lost (Cassidy-Geiger, ibid.). It is possible that the agent's mention of porcelain in January 1740 refers to the earlier tea, coffee and chocolate service, and that the new rendering of the arms - presumably including the Order of St. Januarius - was used for the table service some 18 months or so later.

    Three other domed covers from the service are recorded: one sold by Sotheby's London, 10 July 1973, lot 56; another sold by Sotheby's London, 5 February 1974, lot 134; a third was offered in these Rooms from the Hoffmeister Collection, 24 November 2010, lot 86.
  1. Nette Megens
    Specialist - European Ceramics
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
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