View full screen - View 1 of Lot 204. A PAIR OF MEISSEN FIGURES OF PIED WAGTAILS, CIRCA 1740.
204

A PAIR OF MEISSEN FIGURES OF PIED WAGTAILS, CIRCA 1740

A PAIR OF MEISSEN FIGURES OF PIED WAGTAILS, CIRCA 1740

A PAIR OF MEISSEN FIGURES OF PIED WAGTAILS, CIRCA 1740

A PAIR OF MEISSEN FIGURES OF PIED WAGTAILS

CIRCA 1740


modelled by Johann Gottlieb Kirchner and Johann Gottlieb Ehder, each black and white bird perched on a slender stump applied with small green leaves

height of tallest 9 1/2 in.

24.2 cm

The example with a larger amount of green leaves. Beak, tips of wing feathers, tail feathers restored. Lower half of tail feathers probably replaced. left leg restored. The other example. Beak, tips of wing feathers, tail feathers restored which is chipped. The material at lower half of tail feathers probably partially replaced. Left foot restored, right foot lacking two toes. Both with some typical scattered chips to leaves, some of which have been colorfilled along edges. The restoration could benefit from being refreshes.


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.

The Property of a Gentleman, Christie's New York, 16-18 November, 1999, lot 465
Kirchner's work reports list in February 1733: "Eine Bachsteltze auff Einen Baum stizend Lebens größe", [A wagtail seated on a tree life-sized] and according to Samuel Witter, Die Galerie der Mießener Tiere, pp. 316-7, six figures of this model had been delivered to the Japanese Palace by 1735. An example of this original model, which at 10 1/4 inches, 26 cm, high, was somewhat larger than the present version, is illustrated by Carl Albiker, Die Meissner Porzellantiere im 18 Jahrhundert, Berlin 1959 pl. 142. A second example of this larger model, bearing Japanese Palace inventory number N=284W was in the Collection of Sir Gawaine and Lady Baillie and was sold at Sotheby's London, 1 May, 2013, lot 8

In the 1935 edition of the same book Albiker notes on p. 108 that in addition to Kirchner in 1733, a model of a water wagtail was also worked on by Johann Gottlieb Ehder in 1740. This reference, and the presence of impressed numerals on the present examples, indicate that they are probably a slightly later version of Kirchner's original Japanese Palace model, presumably slightly remodelled by Ehder and intended for general sale. A third (and probably slightly later) version also exists with the bird perched on a lower stump, an example of which is in the Untermyer Collection at the Metropolitan Musuem of Art, illustrated in Yvonne Hackenbroch, Meissen and other Continental Porcelain  Faience and Enamel in the Irwin Untermyer Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art 1956, pl. 7, fig. 20.

Most recently a pair of the same size as the present lot from the Baillie Collection was sold at Sotheby's London, 1 May, 2013, lot 9; A further pair from the Estate of Laurance S. Rockefeller was sold at Sotheby’s New York, 11-12 October, 2005, lot 207.

Sotheby's Scientific Research department used noninvasive XRF for this lot to screen the green enamel for chromium, which was not detected.