A very rare pair of Meissen tortoise-shaped boxes and covers, circa 1728

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Lot 17
A very rare pair of Meissen tortoise-shaped boxes and covers, circa 1728

Sold for £ 100,062 (US$ 130,834) inc. premium
A very rare pair of Meissen tortoise-shaped boxes and covers, circa 1728
Naturalistically modelled by Georg Fritzsche, with the domed shells forming the covers, the sides of the bodies and feet covered in burnished gilding, the shells with a gilt sponged pattern tooled at the edges, each incised 'N' through the gilding at one end of the shell and beneath one neck, 16.5cm long; 7.5cm high (one tail restored) (4)

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    The Collection of Thomas Goff, eminent harpsichord maker in London; and by family tradition given by King William IV of England to his mistress 'Mrs Jordan', from whom Goff was descended;
    Private Collection, Switzerland;
    Anon. sale in these Rooms, 5 July 2013, lot 29, where acquired by the present owner

    Literature:
    Johanna Lessmann, Du Paquier and Meissen: Inspiration and Competition, in M. Chilton (ed.), Fired by Passion: Vienna Baroque Porcelain of Claudius Innicentius Du Paquier (2009), p. 438, ill. 5:30 (one illustrated, image reversed);
    U. Pietsch/C. Banz (eds.), Triumph der blauen Schwerter (2010), no. 39

    Exhibited:
    Dresden, Japanese Palace, 'Triumph der blauen Schwerter. Meissener Porzellan für Adel und Bürgertum 1710-1815', 8 May-29 August 2010

    Modelled by Fritzsche for an order by Augustus the Strong: the weekly reports of the Drehers and Formers at the Meissen manufactory between 1722 and 1728 list the model in 1727 and 1728, when several were produced by Fritzsche and Schmahl (published by Claus Boltz, Die wöchentlichen Berichte über die Tätigkeit der Meissner Dreher und Former vom 6. Juni 1722 bis 31. Dezember 1728, Keramos 178 (2002), p. 32.

    Together with the pair in the Pitti Palace, Florence (from the collection of Grand Duke Gian-Gastone (1671-1737), the last Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany; published by T. Clarke/A. d'Agliano, Le Porcellane tedesche di Palazzo Pitti (1999), no. 2), this lot represents the earliest known examples of the Meissen tortoise boxes.

    Later examples, all marked with crossed swords, are in the Untermyer Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv. no. 64.101.171-172 (Y. Hackenbroch, Meissen and other Continental Porcelain Faience and Enamel in the Irwin Untermyer Collection (1956), fig. 127); Schloss Laubach (published by H. Jedding, Meissener Porzellan des 18. Jahrhunderts (1979), fig. 70); the British Museum (published by A. Dawson, The Glory of Saxony: Meissen Porcelain in the British Museum, The International Ceramics Fair and Seminar Handbook (2005), p. 21, fig. 5); Virginia Museum (J.J. Miller, Eighteenth-Century Meissen Porcelain from the Margaret M. and Arthur J. Mourot Collection (1983), no. 55). In 1734, Kaendler renewed a butter box in the form of a tortoise (Lessmann, op. cit., n. 47).
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A very rare pair of Meissen tortoise-shaped boxes and covers, circa 1728
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