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    Sale 7430

    A Highly Important Private Collection of Meissen and Continental Porcelain

    11 December 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 118

    A PAIR OF MEISSEN QUAIL BOXES AND COVERS

    CIRCA 1745-50

    Price Realised  

    A PAIR OF MEISSEN QUAIL BOXES AND COVERS
    CIRCA 1745-50
    Naturalistically modelled by J.J. Kändler with finely detailed brown, black and buff plumage, each on a grassy mound base (one with crack to rim of box and small chip to beak, other with small chip to cover)
    5 in. (3.4 cm.) long (2)


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    Trompe l'oeil forms of this type were very popular additions to the 18th century dining table. Uses were varied and their purpose was primarily to amuse as well as to be practical. In his article 'Das Northumberland-service aus Meissener Porzellan', Keramos, 70/75, pp. 9-92 the author discusses the celebrated zoological and ornithological service supplied by the Meissen factory to the Duke of Northumberland. The service included two related forms to the present boxes, the drawings of the boxes survive at Alnwick Castle (pl. 54) with the inscription 'vier Stück Wachtein zu Salzfässer'. Two of these variants survive today, although their covers have been lost. The form was later adapted for use as a salt, with the addition of a chick as the finial. Carl Albiker, in Die Meissner Porzellantiere (Berlin, 1959), pl. 145 dates the models to circa 1740-48, described in Kändler's Taxa as 'two quail after life, gazing at each other and opening on top, for putting in butter and things of that sort. 1 Thaler, 8 g.'.

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Provenance

    H.I.H. the Princess Dimitri of Russia, sale Sotheby's London, 9th March 1965, lot 169
    Anon., sale Sotheby's London, 6th June 1973, lot 114.