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    Sale 12975

    Noble & Private Collections Part I

    2 November 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 137

    TWO PAIRS OF MEISSEN MODELS OF GOLDFINCHES

    CIRCA 1745, ONE WITH BLUE CROSSED SWORDS MARK TO BACK OF BASE

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    TWO PAIRS OF MEISSEN MODELS OF GOLDFINCHES
    CIRCA 1745, ONE WITH BLUE CROSSED SWORDS MARK TO BACK OF BASE
    Modelled by J.J. Kändler, each naturalistically modelled perched on a tree-stump base applied with leaves and flowers, their heads enriched in black, white and red, their bodies enriched in shades of yellow, red and brown, one of each pair with a black spotted throat

    5 ½ in. (14 cm.) high


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    The European goldfinch was known in the 18th century by two names: Distelfink (Thistle finch) and Stieglitz (Goldfinch) and it appears Kändler modelled several versions of this bird, which were referred to by both names in the records. Kändler's workbooks record him modelling what he refers to as a 'Distelfinken' in September/October 1740, in September 1741 and again, with Reinecke, in October 1747. In the same month and year Kändler records '14. Einen Stieglitz nach dem Leben poussiert...15. Noch einen darzu gehörigen Stieglitz gegen diesen zu setzen Welcher eine andere action hat' (14. A goldfinch modelld from the life...15. Another goldfinch as a pair, performing a different action). A similar pair of goldfinches are illustrated by Rainer Rückert, Meissener Porzellan, Munich, 1966, nos. 1113 and 1114.

    Provenance

    The example with green painted foliage to tree-stump base: anonymous sale, Christie's London, 7 October 1985, lot 121 (part).


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM THE FALCK COLLECTION (LOTS 128–145)

    The following lots (lots 128 – 145) are from the collection formed by Alberto Falck (1938-2003) and his wife, Cecilia Collalto Giustiniani (1941-2015). Cecilia had porcelain ‘in the blood’, as she was from the noble Venetian family which had ordered the famous Meissen armorial service for their palazzo in the mid-18th century. The couple lived in Milan, and for many years Alberto was President of the Milanese private steel company Acciaierie e Ferriere Lombarde Falck, which was founded by his great, great grandfather in 1833.
    Alberto was a profound lover of the Arts, collecting among other things, manuscripts and ancient Roman glass, and he began collecting Meissen after marrying his wife in 1969. He was particularly drawn to the whiteness and hardness of Meissen porcelain, and was fascinated by the endless forms of objects that were produced, from snuf-boxes, vases or wares to models of animals. Cecilia was fascinated by the detail of the decoration, and how the decorative styles at Meissen evolved during the 18th century. They collected together, beginning with models of birds acquired from a dealer in Milan. After acquiring the models of swans in Venice from the sale of a Rothschild collection in 1977, the collection grew in earnest. As their passion grew, the breadth of the collection began to include pieces from other 18th century manufactories, such as du Paquier in Vienna, or decorative Dutch Delft pieces.