Bonhams : Meissen and Italian Porcelain shine at Fine European Ceramics
Meissen and Italian Porcelain shine at Fine European Ceramics

The Bonhams Fine European Ceramics sale in London last week (2 July) – incorporating the second part of an Important Meissen Porcelain from a European Private Collection – achieved more than £1,000,000.

Rare pieces from the early years of the Meissen factory proved especially attractive as did porcelain from 18th century Italian producers.

Leading collectors and museums numbered among the successful bidders including:

- The Bavarian National Museum in Munich which bought an important Meissen bust of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VII, Elector of Bavaria c.1742 sold for £68,713 (£60,000-80,000). The acquisition of the bust was made with the assistance of the Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung.

- Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden – Porzellansammlung im Zwinger (State Art Collections Dresden – Porcelain Collection in the Zwinger Palace) which bought a Meissen waste bowl from the Forscari Service for £10,687 (estimate £6,000-8,000). The Zwinger Palace has the most important collection of Meissen in the world and according to the Director of its Porcelain Collection, Dr Julia Weber, the purchase of the bowl has filled a significant gap.

- The Chitra collection established by Nirmal Sethia, Chairman of Newby teas, which purchased a rare Bottger stoneware teapot and cover once owned by the 18th century singing star il Sensino for £35,063 (£30,000-5,000). The private collection, named after Mr Sethia's late wife Chitra, has the most comprehensive collection of teawares in the world.

Other sale highlights included:

- A Capodimonte porcelain tea and coffee service c 1750, exceptional both for its size and the exquisite and rare decoration of large and naturalistic butterflies, insects and moths. Sold for £100,063 (£80,000-120,000).

- A rare Meissen Böttger stoneware black-glazed Kendi c.1710-13. Sold for £82,563 (£40,000-60,000)

- A rare Meissen Böttger stoneware black-glazed Kendi c.1710-13 modelled on a Chinese Yixing stoneware original and once displayed at the Japanese Palace at Dresden as part of the Royal collections of Saxony. Sold for £82,563 (£40,000-60,000)

- A rare pair of Meissen Böttger stoneware octagonal vases and covers c.1710-13. Sold for £46,313 (£40,000-60,000)

- A rare Vezzi beaker and saucer painted by Ludovico Ortolini, c 1725, brought to the UK in 1938 by a Miss Schmidt from Vienna. Sold for £37,563 (£10,000-15,000)

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