the shell-molded ground with two swans amongst bulrushes in the centre and a crane in flight overhead, the rim painted with the arms of Brühl and Kolowrat-Krakowska amongst floral sprays, crossed swords mark in underglaze-blue. Small restored rim chips.
The Swan Service was ordered in 1736 for the Director of the Meissen manufactory, Count Heinrich von Brühl (1700-63) when a manufactory report of May that year notes that a table service was ordered for Count Brühl "of entirely new design." The service originally comprised over 2200 pieces, most of which remained in the family's possession until the late 19th century. From around 1880, pieces were lent to museums in Dresden and Berlin, or passed into the hands of collectors. The bulk of the service remained at the family's Silesian seat, Schloss Pförten, until 1945, when Russian troops destroyed much of the service and burned the castle to the ground. The surviving pieces were looted or removed.
See Ulrich Pietsch (ed.), Schwanenservice. Meissener Porzellan für Heinrich Graf von Brühl, exhibition catalogue, Dresden 2000, for a comprehensive discussion of the service. See also Maureen Cassidy-Geiger, 'From Barlow to Buggel', in Keramos, 119/1988, pp. 64-68, for a discussion of the graphic sources.
A beaker and a stand from this service were sold, Lempertz, Cologne, May 18, 2007, lots 44 and 45
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