A PAIR OF MEISSEN LARGE FIGURES OF MALABAR MUSICIANS CIRCA 1750
modeled by Friedrich Elias Meyer, he, playing a mandolin, with a box tied around his waist, she, playing a hurdy-gurdy with a lantern over her shoulder standing beside a potted plant, each wearing a conical straw hat and fur-lined robe, painted in complementing puce, yellow and green, on gilt scroll-edged bases applied with leaves and flowers, crossed swords marks in underglaze-blue.
Height: 13 in.
Male figure - his left hand and neck of mandolin have been broken off and restored back on. Right fingers restored. Lower part of his right sleeve restored. Corner of box at his back restored. Back right hand edge of his cloak restored. Restoration to applied leaves on stump. Female figure - leaves of plant by her side restored. Minor chips to applied flowers and leaves on base. Very minor restoration to end of her hurdygurdy.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
René Fribourg Collection, New York
Sotheby's London, October 15, 1963, lot 478
Angela Gräfin von Wallwitz, Munich, March 2006
von Wallwitz, 2006, ppl. 150-5, cat. no. 27
Cassidy-Geiger, 2008, no. 57, pp. 269-70, illus.
Malabar figures appear in the journal of Marchand Mercier Lazare Duvaux. On April 14, 1749 the tax fermier Augustin Bouret de Villaumont bought from him two gilt-bronze bases "pour deux figure de Saxe debout, représentant des Malabares", Livre-journal no. 193. Duvaux sold Malabar figures on two further occasions, in 1750 to Madame de Pompadour, and in 1751 to Comte d'Egmont, in both cases on a gilt-bronze foot, Abraham L. den Blaauwen, Meissen Porcelain in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 2000, p. 447. A further pair of these models from the Fritz Mannheimer Collection is in the collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, and illustrated in den Blaauwen, 2000, pp. 447-48, no. 327. Friedrich Elias Meyer joined the Meissen factory in May 1748 where he worked until moving to Gotzkowsky's factory in Berlin in 1761. The high Chinoiserie costume is particularly close to the print Danseur Chinois from Livre de Chinois, after François Boucher, reproduced in Maureen Cassidy-Geiger, The Arnhold Collection of Meissen Porcelain, 1710-50, New York, 2008, p. 271.