Lot 1
  • 1

A Meissen figure of a trumpeter pigeon circa 1732

15,000 - 20,000 GBP
15,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • porcelain
modelled by J. J. Kändler, facing to the right, its plumage and elaborate feathered feet picked out in grey, brown and black, perched astride a mossy rock, crossed swords mark in underglaze-blue (some restoration)


Christie's London, 7th July 1997, lot 349

Catalogue Note

This figure, variously described as either a pigeon or a dove, is featured in Kändler's Taxa for September 1732:  'Hingegen der Modellmeister Kaentler zu einigen Modellen...8 Eine Trommel Taube poussiert und gefertiget' [for his part, Chief Modeller Kändler, several models...8 A Trumpeter Pigeon, modelled and completed]. Although initially modelled in response to an order from Augustus II for the Japanese Palace, completed figures were not delivered there exclusively.

The figure and that of a pigeon on its nest, which was modelled by Kändler in October of the same year, seem to be traditionally described as a pair, and were included in early collections such as that formed by the Elector Clemens Augustus of Cologne around 1745, and which is now in the Kunstgewerbemuseum Cologne. Examples of these pigeons are listed in the inventory of his collection as standing in the Coronation Hall of Schloss Poppelsdorf, 'Ein Paar Tauben, der Vogel hat Federn an den Füßen, ist hoch 9 Zoll, das Weibgen sitzet auf dem Nest' [A pair of pigeons, the bird has feathers on the feet is 9 Zoll high, the female sits on the nest], see Erich Köllmann, "Kurfürst Clemens August von Köln Ein Porzellansammler des 18. Jahrhunderts", Keramos 13 (1961), p. 26. Another is illustrated by Röbbig (2008), cat. no. 4. See also Albiker (1935), no. 109, for the example in the Dresden State Art Collections and Rückert (1966), no. 1102, for the example in the Kunstgewerbemuseum Cologne. A similar example of this rare early figure was sold, with a nesting example, at Christie's London, 17th October 1977, lot 196.