An important German parcel-gilt silver and enamelled tea and coffee-service on stand


An important German parcel-gilt silver and enamelled tea and coffee-service on stand
Dated 1881, designed by Hermann Ende, modelled by Robert Maierheim for Gebrder Friedlander, Berlin, unmarked, but some pieces struck later with 925 standard mark
The shaped quatrefoil stand resting on silver-mounted wood base with applied cording and acanthus foliage, with raised border, the centre engraved with strapwork, with an elaborate tea-urn, stand and lamp, the stand enamelled in blue and gilt with presentation inscription and flanked by a sea-god and goddess, the baluster-shaped urn with cast grotesque-mask spout and mask-capped scroll handles, the body chased with a classical figure with putti and accolé coats-of-arms with dolphins and applied floral swags on matted ground, the cover applied with two eschutcheons, one with cypher and the other with Imperial eagle and surmounted by a crown, with similarly chased pair of teapots, pair of baluster-shaped covered canisters and central oval two-handled covered sugar-bowl, together with a similar milk-jug, a tea-strainer and a pair of sugar-tongs with shaped handles chased with cypher, some marked on base
the stand 108 cm. (42.1/2 in.) long, tea-urn 73 cm. (28.3/4 in.) high
gross 22,400 gr. (723 oz.) without wood base (10)
Sold by a member of the Prussian Royal family, Kempinski, Berlin, 19 March, 1954, lot 53, where the designer, modeller and maker are identified. This sale included a number of other pieces made for the 1881 Royal wedding.

Lot Essay

The inscription reads: "Ihren Koniglichen Hoheiten dem Prinzen Wilhelm von Preussen und der Prinzessin Auguste Victoria, zu Hochst Ihrer Vermahlung in hesster Ehrfurcht gewidmet von der Provinz Westpreussen 27 Februar 1881" (To their Royal Highnesses the Prince William of Prussia and the Princess Auguste Victoria, presented on the occasion of your wedding with devotion from the West Province of Prussia 27 February 1881)

The arms are those of Wilhelm II, Viktor Albert, German Emperor and King of Prussia (1859-1941, ruled 1888-1918) and his wife Auguste Victoria (1858-1921), eldest daugther of Friedrich, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg, who married in Berlin on 27 February 1881.

This extravagant wedding-gift reflects the ultimate neo-Baroque taste at the Prussian court of Berlin in the last quarter of the 19th century. The designer Hermann Ende (1829-1907), was the contemporary of Adolph Menzel, President of the Berlin Academy of Arts, who perhaps best expressed in painting this taste. Ende took as his model the famous golden coffee-service, made for Augustus the Strong by Georg-Friedrich Dinglinger and Paul Hermann between 1697-1701, on view in the Green Vaults, Dresden since the early 18th century. He was also heavily influenced by the magnificient Baroque silver and silver-gilt made by the Biller family of Augsburg for the Prussian court in the early 18th century.

A very considerable amount of silver was made to celebrate the 1881 Royal marriage and much of it remains in Huis Doorn in the Netherlands where the Princess died in 1921, following the abdication of her husband three years earlier. (See H. Schadt and I. Schneider, Kaiserliches Gold und Silber, Schatze der Hohenzollern aus dem Schloss Huis Doorn, Berlin, 1985, pp. 132-133). A number of pieces also connected with this marriage were sold at Christie's Geneva, 17 November, 1992, lots 236, 239 etc.

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