Kändler’s work reports of July 1734 describe his interest in producing the most natural and lifelike models of exotic animals possible. To this end he studied and produced models of the bears found in the Mortizburg menagerie of Augustus the Strong. Between 5 March and 17 December the following year, the books of the Meissen warehouse in Dresden recorded a delivery of three small bears (3 St. kleine Bäre) to the Japanese Palace. It is most likely these that reappear in the inventories of 1770 and 1779, bearing the palace’s inventory number 'N=310w' and described as: drey Stück weiße etwas bräunliche Bäre, 2 sitzend und einer stehend, 3 Zoll hoch (three pieces of white and brown bears, two sitting and one standing, 3 inches high). The present lot corresponds to the standing mother bear from this group, now to be seen in the Dresden Collection (see Ulrich Pietsch, Meißner Porzellanplastik von Gottlieb Kirchner und Johann Joachim Kaendler, Munich, 2006, p. 149, no. 218), indicating a modelling date as early as 1734-5.