Two rare Meissen figures of golden orioles circa 1733-40
- heights 11 3/4 in.
- 29.8 cm
S. Berges, New York, 1942
The Lesley and Emma Sheafer Collection, Bequest of Emma A. Sheafer, 1973
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Carl Albiker notes in Die Meissner Porzellantiere (1935 edition), p. 122, models of orioles were also consecutively worked by Johann Gotlieb Ehder in 1740 and Peter Reinicke in 1747, illustrating a pair similar to the present examples, pl. XXIX, no 112. Another similar pair of this model, one of which bears the Japanese Palace inventory number of No. 315, is illustrated in Yvonne Hackenbroch, Meissen and Other Continental Porcelain, Faïence and Enamel in the Irwin Untermyer Collection, color pl. 6, fig. 5, where the author on p. 6 ascribes them to Ehder, circa 1740-41, "after the earlier Kaendler models of March-June 1734." The lack of descriptions in the work records render it impossible to date these golden orioles with certainty; however, the higher stumps are more typical of the earlier models and the present models were more likely made between 1733 and 1740.
Samuel Wittwer mentions in The Gallery of Meissen Animals, Augustus the Strong's Menagerie for the Japanese Palace in Dresden, p. 345, that the inventories of 1770 and 1779 list "six golden orioles with black wings on white pedestals decorated with leaves" with the inventory number N= 283- W; and "ten orioles with black wings, 8 of which are standing on high pedestals decorated with leaves, but 2 of the pedestals are simply ('schlecht') done."
Three orioles were included in the sale of porcelain from the Royal Saxon Collection, Dresden, held at Rudolph Lepke's, Berlin, October 7 and 8th, 1919, lots 107 and 108 (plain bases) and 109 (base applied with branches). The present examples are likely those sold as lots 107 and 109.
A single example with a white, undecorated base, from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, bequeathed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was sold in Sotheby's New York, April 25, 1998, lot 67.
Sotheby's Scientific Research department used noninvasive XRF for this lot to screen the green enamel for chromium, which was not detected.