View full screen - View 1 of Lot 212. TWO MEISSEN FIGURES OF GOLDEN ORIOLES, CIRCA 1733-40 AND 1745.





CIRCA 1733-40 AND 1745

modeled by Johann Joachim Kändler, each with yellow and black plumage, the taller perched on a slender stump, crossed swords mark in underglaze-blue to rear of base, the other on a stump applied with leafy branches

height of tallest 11 3/4 in.

29.9 cm

Bird perched on plain stump - beak restored back on; restored chips to end of tail feathers. Small chips around bottom edge of base. Small oval firing flaw under left leg (stained crack, could be cleaned) Bird on leafy stump - broken off base near the top and restored back on, the repair overpainted in green. Small section of applied branch chipped away, some chips and losses to leaves. Bird's tail has been broken off and glued back on. Front edge of bird's left wing has been broken off and glued back on. Beak is restored, and probably mostly a made up replacement. Two claws are chipped away. The bird has apparent faint repaired breaks to the neck area, which are under the enamel and presumably happened at the biscuit firing stage. Please note this bird was described by Christies in 2006 as later decorated. In our opinion this does not appear to be later decoration. The restoration and repair on both birds is old and should be re-done.

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 taller: 
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, New York
Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sotheby's New York, 25 April, 1998, lot 67
The other:
Christie's New York, 18 May, 2006, lot 605 (part)
Carl Christian Dauterman, The Wrightsman Collection, New York 1970, Volume IV, pp. 40-41, no. 14 (the taller)
Kändler's Taxa or work records for July 1733 reads:

'Specificatio Was in dem Monath July 1733 an Neuen Modellen Inventiert und gefertiget worden... Einen Vogel Von Mittel Mäßiger Größe Eine Bier Eule genannt auf einem Postament sitzend, Kandler, Modellmeister', [Specification of what new models were invented and finished in the month of July 1733... a middle-sized bird called 'Bier-Eule' sitting on a pedestal, Kändler, mastermodeller.] Also in March of 1734 he records 'Im Monath Martio 1734 sind auf hiesiger Kõnigl. Pohl. und Churfürstl. Sächß. Porcellain Fabrique an neuen Modellen gefertiget worden... Einen Vogel von MittelMäßiger Größe gefertiget welcher Eine Bier Eule genannt wird, Johann Joachim Kändler', [In the month of March 1734 at this Porcelain factory of the King in Poland and Elector of Saxony the following new models were finished.. a middle-sized bird known as a 'Bier Eule', Johann Joachim Kändler].

Carl Albiker notes in Die Meissner Porzellantiere (1935 edition), p. 122, models of orioles were also consecutively worked by Johann Gotlieb Ehder in 1740 and Peter Reinicke in 1747, illustrating four examples, pl. XXIX, no 112. Another similar pair of this model, one of which bears the Japanese Palace inventory number No. 315, is illustrated in Yvonne Hackenbroch, Meissen and Other Continental Porcelain, Faïence and Enamel in the Irwin Untermyer Collection, color pl. 6, fig. 5, where the author on p. 6 ascribes them to Ehder, circa 1740-41, "after the earlier Kaendler models of March-June 1734." The lack of descriptions in the work records render it difficult to date these golden orioles with certainty; however, the higher stumps are more typical of the earlier models.

Samuel Wittwer writes in The Gallery of Meissen Animals, Augustus the Strong's Menagerie for the Japanese Palace in Dresden, Munich 2006, p. 345, that the inventories of 1770 and 1779 list "six golden orioles with black wings on white pedestals decorated with leaves" with the inventory number N= 283- W; and "ten orioles with black wings, 8 of which are standing on high pedestals decorated with leaves, but 2 of the pedestals are simply ('schlecht') done." Three orioles were included in the sale of porcelain from the Royal Saxon Collection, Dresden, held at Rudolph Lepke's Kunst-Auctions-Haus, Berlin, 7-8 October, 1919, lots 107 and 108 (plain bases) and 109 (base applied with branches).

Two Golden Orioles bearing Japanese Palace numbers No283 or no315, formerly in the Collection of Siegfried Salz, Berlin, sold, Cassirer & Helbing, Berlin, 26-27 March, 1929, lots 47-48, and the Collection of Lesley and Emma Sheafer, were sold at Sotheby's New York, 27 October, 2017, lot 14, Property from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, sold to benefit the acquisitions fund. A pair, formerly in the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, New York, and Laurance S. Rockefeller, was sold in the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, Christie's New York, 9 May, 2018, lot 194.