Kändler's work report of February 1732, as cited by Wittwer (2004), p. 291, records: 'So hat auch der Modellirer Kenntler...einen großen Affen von besonderer Arth...poussiret' [Modeller Kändler also...modelled...a large monkey of a special kind], which could refer to either the figure taking snuff or equally to the similar figure with grapes or chain. Among the deliveries of 1731-32 there is one that includes three large white monkeys but there is no clear indication as to which of the models by Kändler either the work report or the delivery records refers. The 1770 and 1779 inventories list four large white monkeys, "without young, all damaged". On 17th March 1849, the sale of one monkey taking snuff to Teichert in Meissen is recorded; and in 1900, there are only two monkeys remaining in the Royal Collection, one, white, and one, enamelled, both taking snuff. Therefore, of the four monkeys listed in the 1770 and 1779 inventories, at least three were snuff-taking figures, two of which were still in the Royal Collection in 1900. It follows then, that it may reasonably be assumed the present example was sold either in 1849 or at a slightly later date from the Collection of the Japanese Palace, possibly directly to Jacob Astley, 16th Baron Hastings (1797-1859), himself an avid collector of porcelain at the time.
In addition to the present example, there are two other monkeys of the same model known: an enamelled figure from the Dr. Fritz Mannheimer collection in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (inv. no. BK-17494), illustrated by den Blaauwen (2000), p. 402, cat. no. 293; and a white figure in the porcelain collection of the Dresden State Art Collections (inv. no. PE 974), illustrated by Wittwer, op. cit., p. 218, fig. 215 and Albiker (1935), pl. X, no. 26.
Sotheby's would like to thank Prof. Dr. Ulrich Pietsch for his kind assistance with the cataloguing and research of this lot.
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