A small and rare Saxon cold-enamelled flask, Dresden, circa 1730
Lot 28
A small and rare Saxon cold-enamelled flask, Dresden, circa 1730
Sold for £1,125 (US$ 1,890) inc. premium
Lot Details
A small and rare Saxon cold-enamelled flask, Dresden, circa 1730
The compressed form lightly painted principally in green and white with details in iron-red and gilding, on one side a quasi-heraldic motif flanked by two monkeys, a crown on the neck, the body with three Indian or Oriental figures in profile, one holding a flaming heart, the other kneeling and shaded by an attendant with a parasol, the reverse with a peacock and a monkey climbing a tree, shallow kick-in base, 8.9cm high


  • Provenance:
    Collection of Dr. M. Strauss, Vienna, where it was sold at auction January 1922, Cat. no. 35
    The Jacques Mühsam Collection, 1926
    Anon. sale, Sotheby's, 7 March 1977, lot 239
    Fischer Auctions, Heilbronn, unknown, lot 339

    Robert Schmidt, Die Gläser der Sammlung Mühsam (1926), p.32, no.114.
    Brigitte Klesse and Hans Mayr, European Glass 1500-1800 The Ernesto Wolf Collection (1987), p.42, fig.62 and no.54

    The flask comes from a small rare group of similarly decorated pieces. Three lots in the Sharpe-Erskine Collection, sold at Sotheby's, 26 June 1978, lots 27-29, two wine glasses and a beaker, and an armorial goblet and a beaker in the Victoria and Albert Museum are other pieces that have been noted, originally thought to be Thuringian, circa 1730. Further examples of the style and technique are to be found in the Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna.

    Robert Schmidt posited the theory that this rare group of glass was originally produced in Austria, op.cit, p.26. However, the latest research on this group, undertaken by Prof. Rudolf von Strasser in the seminal work on his collection, indicates that the work is probably that of an anonymous Hausmaler working in Dresden. A beaker with this decoration, now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, is illustrated by von Strasser Licht und Farbe (2002), pp.129-131, no.69. For a further discussion of the present lot see Klesse and Mayr, op.cit., pp.43-45.

    When it was first offered in 1977 it was mentioned that the use of Indian rather than Chinese imagery recalls Dinglinger's masterpiece made for Augustus the Strong of Saxony, 'The Princely Household at Delhi on the Birthday of the Great Mogul Aurangzeb', in the Green Vaults at Dresden. The work was originally attributed to Martin Schnell, whose work is known on Böttger stoneware and on furniture; see W. Holzhausen, Lackkunst in Europa (1958), pp.162 et seq.
  1. Simon Cottle
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