View full screen - View 1 of Lot 62. A very rare Meissen dated trompe l'oeil tankard with silver mounts, Dated 1726, the mounts Dresden, Circa 1750 .

A very rare Meissen dated trompe l'oeil tankard with silver mounts, Dated 1726, the mounts Dresden, Circa 1750

A very rare Meissen dated trompe l'oeil tankard with silver mounts, Dated 1726, the mounts Dresden, Circa 1750

A very rare Meissen dated trompe l'oeil tankard with silver mounts, Dated 1726, the mounts Dresden, Circa 1750

A very rare Meissen dated trompe l'oeil tankard with silver mounts

Dated 1726, the mounts Dresden, circa 1750

painted, in the manner of J. G. Höroldt, with a seated Chinoiserie figure drinking tea beside a boiling kettle beneath two birds and a dragonfly in flight above, within an underglaze-blue-edged shield-shaped cartouche and a Böttger lustre and gilt scrollwork border, flanked by shaded insects, painted on one side of the handle beneath the rim with a trompe l'oeil fragment of a folded and wax-sealed letter dated 6. Oct. 1726, the rims with underglaze-blue line and gilt scrollwork borders, the cover inset with a 2⁄3 thaler, the obverse struck with a profile portrait of Augustus the Strong and inscribed D.G.FRID.AUGUST.REX.POLONARIUM., the reverse with the conjoined coats-of-arms of Poland/Lithuania and Saxony beneath a crown, inscribed and dated 1699, unmarked, themount with script monogram maker's mark.

Height: 6⅞ in.

17.5 cm

Large shallow chip under base, 5cm by 2cm approx. and an adjacent 0.5cm chip. Firing crack to underside of handle where it joins the body at the top. The outer edge of the footrim with a glazed-over 0.5 cm chip. When sold in 1926, the tankard did not have a mount, so the period mount was added later. 

For further information please contact; +1 212 894 1442.

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.



Hoth Collection, Berlin, sale, Rudolph Lepke's Kunst-Auctions-Haus, Berlin, February 23-24, 1926, lot 124, pl. 4;

Margarethe (née Knapp, 1878-1949) and Dr. Franz (1871-1950) Oppenheimer, Berlin & Vienna (by 1927) (no. 170 in black);

Dr. Fritz Mannheimer (1890-1939), Amsterdam & Paris, inv. no. Por. 309 (acquired between 1936 and 1939);

Dienststelle Mühlmann, The Hague (acquired from the Estate of the above in 1941 on behalf of the Sonderauftrag Linz for the proposed Führermuseum);

On deposit at Kloster Stift Hohenfurth;

On deposit at Salzbergwerk Bad Aussee;

Recovered from the above by Allied Monuments Officers and transferred to the Central Collecting Point Munich (MCCP inv. no. 2367/27);

Repatriated from the above to Holland between 1945 and 1949;

Loaned by the Dutch state to the Kunstmuseum Den Haag by 1953;

Restituted by the above to the heirs of Margarethe and Franz Oppenheimer in 2021

Ludwig Schnorr von Carolsfeld, Sammlung Margarete und Franz Oppenheimer. Meissener Porzellan, Berlin, 1927, no. 170, pl. 73

The partially legible inscribed faux-page can be read as:
'A Mōsieur/ Monsieur Julius Ernst/ de Bex. pour.../ Ro...berg/ ...6. Oct./ 1726.'

The name Julius Ernst von Bex [de Bex in French], and the variant Ernst Julius von Bex[en], appear in various documents in the Dresden State Archive in ca. 1702-1715, when he was evidently a Captain in the Saxon Dragoon Leibregiment [life guards]. His father may have been the Leipzig merchant and local official Franz Bex, whose family had a dedicated chapel in the Lutheran St. Thomas Church in Leipzig from 1642 until the renovation of the interiors in the 1880s. A relation, Captain Ludwig Wilhelm von Bex, is also named in the Dresden archives. It would seem the archival references to the family concern legal actions; how or why Julius Ernst’s name appears on the Oppenheimer tankard dated 1726 has not been determined. It is possible the wax seal is the crested Bex-family armorial, which is given in Siebmacher, vol. 6, section 6, p. 10.

The Oppenheimers were able to amass a collection of twenty-three Meissen porcelain and Böttger-stoneware tankards. Five tankards were painted with cartouches of Chinoiserie scenes outlined in underglaze-blue. Of these, three subsequently entered the collection Dr. Fritz Mannheimer and were sold in the 1952 sale of his collection at Frederik Muller & Cie, Amsterdam, lots 312, 313 and 322. Lot 313 from this sale, formerly in the collection of Warda Stevens Stout, is now part of the permanent collection of the Dixon Gallery & Gardens, Memphis, acc. no.1985.DA.46. The fourth tankard, the present example, was retained by the Dutch state and transferred on loan to the Kunstmuseum Den Haag; and the fifth, published by Schnorr von Carolsfeld, 1927, no. 128, was not acquired by Mannheimer and is presumed lost.