Lot 8
  • 8

A Rare Meissen figure of a Pied Wagtail circa 1733

20,000 - 30,000 GBP
27,500 GBP
bidding is closed


  • porcelain
modelled by J. G. Kirchner for the Japanese Palace, the black head with a dramatic broad white stripe, the plumage in tones of grey and black, perched on a tall undecorated tree stump, crossed swords mark in underglaze-blue, black-painted Japanese Palace inventory no. N=284W (tail and beak repaired)


The Royal Collections of Saxony, Japanese Palace, Dresden
Christie's London, 30th June 1986, lot 19

Catalogue Note

Kirchner's workbook for February 1733 records 'In der Monath Februar 1733 sind von mir Modelle verfertiget...Eine Bachstelze auf einem Baum sitzend, Lebensgröße...Gottlieb Kirchner' [In the month of February 1733 I completed the following models...a life-sized wagtail seated on a tree...Gottlieb Kirchner]. Four wagtails were delivered to the Japanese Palace on 29th November 1733, followed by four more in 1734 and a final pair in 1735. 

By the time of the 1770 inventory, six remained in the collection; two were sold at the Johanneum sale in 1919. No wagtails now remain in the Dresden State Art Collections. Two of these earliest models of the wagtail were sold from the Guttmann Collection, Christie's, 5th July 2004, lots 166 and 167; see Röbbig (2008), cat. no. 1.

A slightly smaller version of the same figure was created with the help of J. G. Ehder in 1740 (see the following lot).

Another pied wagtail, this time on a shorter, mossy stump, was also produced, probably a few years later; see Christie's London, 7th July 1977, lot 358 and Hackenbroch (1956), pl. 7, fig. 20.