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    Sale 7430

    A Highly Important Private Collection of Meissen and Continental Porcelain

    11 December 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 53

    A PAIR OF MEISSEN SELADON-GROUND SAKE-BOTTLES AND COVERS

    CIRCA 1730-4, UNDERSIDES OF BOTH WITH WHEEL-ENGRAVED N=291- W JAPANESE PALACE INVENTORY MARKS, ONE WITH DREHER'S IMPRESSED THREE CIRCLES, ONE MARKED TWICE WITH BLUE CROSSED SWORDS

    Price Realised  

    A PAIR OF MEISSEN SELADON-GROUND SAKE-BOTTLES AND COVERS
    CIRCA 1730-4, UNDERSIDES OF BOTH WITH WHEEL-ENGRAVED N=291- W JAPANESE PALACE INVENTORY MARKS, ONE WITH DREHER'S IMPRESSED THREE CIRCLES, ONE MARKED TWICE WITH BLUE CROSSED SWORDS
    Of square section, each facet reserved with panels painted in the Kakiemon palette with flowering shrubs alternating with Orientals, one Oriental riding a mythical beast, another with birds on a cord, another walking on a rope, and another striking a fruit with a knife, within gilt interlocking scrollwork quatrefoil cartouches, the tips of the necks reserved with white bands gilt with scrolls and husks, the square covers with gilt ball finials (areas of slight wear, one cover with slender chip to corner, one bottle with gilded chipping to footrim possibly dating from time of manufacture)
    8 7/8 in. (22.5 cm.) and 8 15/16 in. (22.7 cm.) high (2)


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    For a discussion of the chromatic and symbolic arrangement of porcelain in the interiors of the Japanese Palace, see Dr. Samuel Wittwer, The Gallery of Meissen Animals (Munich, 2006). In a contemporary account, dated 23rd October 1730, Johann Georg Keyssler describes the second room on the upper floor: 'Das zweyte Zimmer soll mit vielerley Arten Porzellan von Seladonfarbe und Gold besetzet'. The second of twelve Spezifikationen for the furnishings of the Japanese Palace describes 'Porcelains Seladon-Couluer mit weissen Feldern und mit schmalen goldenen Rändchen eigefasst, und mit wenig Malerei' ('seladon colour with white reserves with narrow gold borders and a little decoration'), see Jean-Louis Sponsel, Kabinettstücke der Meissner Porzellan-Manufaktur von Johann Joakim Kändler (Leipzig, 1900), p. 31. Fritz Fichter was the first to suggest that the ground colour used on the present bottles corresponds to the 'seladon' of the 1730 specification.

    The Kakiemon style reserves on the present flasks may have been executed by Adam Friedrich von Löwenfinck. The similarity to a tankard signed with an LF monogram in the Rijksmuseum are striking, see Abraham L. den Blaauwen, Meissen Porcelain in the Rijksmuseum Rijksmuseum Catalogue (Amsterdam, 2000), no. 201, where the author also discusses the difficulties of attribution. The designs appear to be inspired directly from Japanese porcelain rather than the engravings by Petrus Schenk as seen on the bowls, covers and stands in this sale (lot 50) and the Earl of Jersey Service, amongst others. The form of these flasks was inspired by Arita originals in Augustus's collection. A receipt dated 28th November 1709 for the loan of "1 längiche 4 eckig kleine Bouteille' (1 slender 4-sided small bottle) from the Royal Collection is addressed to "Mons. Böttgern", see Vivian S. Hawes, et. al., op. cit., p. 108.

    Ninety-six 'Aufsatz-Bouteillen' were delivered to the Japanese Palace according to an invoice of 1734, see D. Hoffmeister, Meissener Porzellan des 18. Jahrhunderts Catalogue (Hamburg, 1999) Vol. II, p. 384. The Palace inventory numbers relate to a 1770 listing, N=291-W corresponds the entry 'Neun und Fünfzig Stück diverse Aufsatz-Bouteillen, Celadon-Couleur mit weißen Feldern, darein kleine Blümgen und Zierrathen gemahlt, auch vergoldten Rändgen, No. 291' (Fifty-nine pieces of different display bottles, seladon colour with white reserves, small flowers and ornaments painted in them, also gilt borders, No. 291). The inventory also records thirty-eight bottles under inventory No. 332. For a related bottle and cover in the Porzellansammlung, Dresden (Inv. Nr. P.E. 626) see Masako Shono, Japanisches Aritaporzellan im sogenannten "Kakiemonstil" als Vorbild für die Meissener Porzellanmanufaktur Munich, 1973), no. 130; for the example at Lustheim see Rainer Rückert, Meissener Porzellan (Munich, 1966), pl. 106, no. 417.

    Examples from both inventory groupings appear in public and private collections around the world. Notable examples to appear at auction in recent years are the pair from the N=291 grouping from the Mr. and Mrs. Deane Johnson of Bel Air, California, sale Sotheby Parke Bernet New York, 9th December 1972, lot 35 (like the two pairs of seladon-ground bottles in the Markus Collection, these are from the Collection of Baroness Renée de Becker, sold in New York, June 1958). See also the pair of bottles sold in these Rooms, the Property of a Noted European Collector, Part I, 28th March 1977, lot 38 (now in the Hoffmeister Collection, Hamburg) and the two single vases from the same collection sold in Part II, 17th October 1977, lots 64 and 65. A pair, also from the Renée de Becker collection were sold by Christie's Geneva on 11th May 1987, lot 155. A single square section bottle from this group was sold in these Rooms on 5th December 1994, lot 194, and was sold later at Christie's New York on 17th-18th November 1999, lot 314.

    Ninety-six 'Aufsatz-Bouteillen' were delivered to the Japanese Palace according to an invoice of 1734, see D. Hoffmeister, Meissener Porzellan des 18. Jahrhunderts Catalogue (Hamburg, 1999) Vol. II, p. 384. The Palace inventory numbers relate to a 1770 listing, N=291-W corresponds the entry 'Neun und Fünfzig Stück diverse Aufsatz-Bouteillen, Celadon-Couleur mit weißen Feldern, darein kleine Blümgen und Zierrathen gemahlt, auch vergoldten Rändgen, No. 291' (Fifty-nine pieces of different display bottles, seladon colour with white reserves, small flowers and ornaments painted in them, also gilt borders, No. 291). The inventory also records thirty-eight bottles under inventory No. 332. For a related bottle and cover in the Porzellansammlung, Dresden (Inv. Nr. P.E. 626) see Masako Shono, Japanisches Aritaporzellan im sogenannten "Kakiemonstil" als Vorbild für die Meissener Porzellanmanufaktur Munich, 1973), no. 130; for the example at Lustheim see Rainer Rückert, Meissener Porzellan (Munich, 1966), pl. 106, no. 417.

    Special Notice

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


    Provenance

    Augustus II, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, Japanese Palace, Dresden
    The Marquise de Amodio (née de la Rochefoucauld), sale Sotheby's London, 4th December 1973, lot 179
    Galerie Koller, Zürich, October-November 1980.


    Literature

    Vivian S. Hawes, et. al., The Rita & Frits Markus Collection of European Ceramics & Enamels Catalogue (Boston, 1984), p. 106.