A pair of Meissen figures of bitterns circa 1750
Possibly Hermann Ball and Paul Graupe, Berlin, 15th March 1933, lot 42, pl. 9
Olive, Lady Baillie, Lowndes House, London (dining room), acquired Maison Jansen, Paris, 29th June 1937
The present examples, however, are smaller than the above-mentioned model and have considerable variations in the appearance of the birds and the reeds on the base. No records have been found as yet, but Carl Albiker dates this model around 1753 on the basis of the model number 2015; see Albiker (1959), p.15 and plate 90. Abraham den Blaauwen illustrates the pair of the Rijksmuseum and notes that this argument is "highly unreliable because their sequence is by no means always chronological. Yet a date in the middle of the 18th century seems plausible in view of their greater elegance when compared with the early birds" ; see den Blaauwen (2000), fig. 302. The author also lists the other examples known which number around eleven, including the present example, a pair sold in the Rockefeller sale, Sotheby's New York, 2005, lot 200, and a single model sold in the Safra sale, Sotheby's New York, 2011, lot 762.
In addition, single examples are in the museum collections at Dresden, Frankfurt, New York (Metropolitan Museum of Art) and a pair mounted in ormolu are in the Huntington Library, San Marino.