• 500 Years: Decorative Arts Eur auction at Christies

    Sale 2203

    500 Years: Decorative Arts Europe Including Carpets from The Corcoran Gallery of Art

    24 November 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 75

    A MEISSEN PORCELAIN GROUP OF MATING DOVES (TAUBENPAAR)

    CIRCA 1735, FROM THE MODEL BY JOHANN JOACHIM KÄNDLER OF 1733, INCISED MODEL NUMBER 77

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A MEISSEN PORCELAIN GROUP OF MATING DOVES (TAUBENPAAR)
    Circa 1735, from the model by Johann Joachim Kändler of 1733, incised model number 77
    Naturalistically modeled and painted
    8¼ in. (21 cm.) high


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    Meissen records note five examples of the present model, also known as "Doves at Dalliance" delivered to the Japanese Palace between 5 March and 17 December 1735 at a cost of 12 thalers 6 groschen each. See Samuel Wittwer, The Gallery of Meissen Animals: Augustus the Strong's Menagerie for the Japanese Palace in Dresden, Munich, 2006, pp. 336-337 under 'Doves' for a detailed discussion of the model and its place within the project for which it was designed.

    Three variant models of doves were produced: a single Turtle Dove or Wood Pigeon, in German Trommeltaube, modeled by Kändler in September 1732, a nesting bird, modeled the following month, and the present model, in January 1733; these dates confirmed by entries in Kändler's work records. Another enameled example is in the collection of the Zwinger in Dresden.

    Unfortunately, records of production are sketchy. Other than the number of examples delivered to the Japanese Palace, there is no way of confirming how many of any given model were made once Meissen started producing these table-top models for sale to the public. However, that few examples of any of the three models have appeared on the art market in recent memory only serves to reinforce their rarity, adding to their desirability.