L13310

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Lot 11
  • 11

TWO MEISSEN FIGURES OF KINGFISHERS ONE CIRCA 1735, THE OTHER PROBABLY LATER

Estimate
15,000 - 20,000 GBP
Sold
43,750 GBP
bidding is closed

Description

  • porcelain
modelled by J. J. Kändler and F. Eberlein, their heads turned down and to left or up and to the right, their plumage in tones of green and blue with brown markings, perched on tall rocky outcrops applied with fungi and foliage, the rockwork of one with patches of brown and yellow, both with crossed swords marks in underglaze-blue, one impressed 57 (some restoration)

Provenance

Olive, Lady Baillie, Lowndes House, London (dining room), acquired from Maison Jansen, Paris, 29th June 1937

Catalogue Note

One of the pair was modelled by Kändler in September 1735 for the Japanese Palace, the Workbooks recording '12. Ein Eis Vogel poussiret Wie er auf einem kleinen Stein Klipgen sitzet daran etwas Blätter Werk gewachsen ist' [12. Modelled a kingfisher sitting on a small rocky crag on which some foliage has grown].

The companion model was created by Eberlein in May 1739; his records read 'Eis Vogel auf einen Felsen sitzend von Doone gemacht' [a Kingfisher perched on a rock, made in clay].

Always a rare figure, only four kingfishers in all were delivered to the Japanese Palace, in 1736, and of these only two remained in the 1770 inventory; even that entry was subsequently crossed out, with the added note 'broken during cleaning' ; see Wittwer (2006), p. 342.

Other examples of the model were sold from the collection of Lord Hastings, Sotheby's London, 6th June 1950, lots 130 and 131; and at Sotheby's London, 17th October 1989, lot 320 (a pair, mounted in ormolu). A pair was also offered at Christie's, 7th July 2003, lot 118, and a single example was offered at Sotheby's London, 7th June 1999, lot 79.

By contrast with their predominance on useful wares after 1738, impressed numerals are rarely found on early Meissen figures. They were said by W. B. Honey to be based upon an inventory started in 1763, but their occasional appearance on figures which are clearly earlier in date leaves the matter for debate.

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