For other examples of dessert-plates from this service see Winfried and Ilse Baer, 'Blumen für den König' Exhibition Catalogue (Berlin, 1992), p. 69, Kat. no. 4.1.; Erich Köllmann and Margarete Jarchow, op. cit. (Munich, 1987), Vol. II, p. 438, fig. 265 and Georg Lenz, op. cit. (n.d.), fig. 369.
When he became king, Frederick chose to live at Schloss Charlottenburg rather than at the Royal Schloss in Berlin, where he would have been too close to his wife, Queen Elizabeth, and the nobility. He carried out alterations between 1740-47, but quickly grew bored of it. He decided to build Sanssouci for the summers and spend the winters at the Stadtschloss in Potsdam. The Stadtschloss, demolished in 1959-61 after being badly damaged during the Second World War, originally stood near the river Havel in Potsdam. It had started out life in the 1590's as a 'house' for Princess Catherine and had been extensively remodelled during the 17th Century into a large baroque palace with its 'Fortune Gate' facing onto the Old Market. Frederick sketched his proposed alterations and Knobelsdorff carried them out between 1744 and 1752. New storeys were added and large white marble columns unified the new façades. Many of Knobelsdorff's preparatory drawings for the rococo interiors, which were among the finest created, have survived.
Curiously, Frederick ordered that this service should differ in style from the room in which it was to be used. It was used in the Bronzesaal, pictured above1. The Antikzierat borders of the Gelben Tafelservice plates have more in common with the design of the ceiling of the monumental Marmorsaals which had rosettes within panels of rectangular trellis divided by rococo palm trees, foliage and trophies. Some time after Frederick's death the service was transferred, on the instructions of Frederick William III, to Schloss Stettin, the residence of Princess Elisabeth of Brunswick (1746-1840), the divorced wife of Frederick William II. For an extensive discussion of this service, see Winfried and Ilse Baer, ibid. (1992), where the relationship between the decoration of this service and the Bronzesaal is discussed.
Above, top, the Bronzesaal in the Stadtschloss, circa 1935. The image is taken from Winfried and Ilse Baer, ibid. (1992), p. 67.
Above, J.F. Schleuen's engraving of the garden front of the Stadtschloss, circa 1770.
1. The painting above the fireplace is Louis de Silvestre's portrait of Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland shaking hands with Frederick William I, King in Prussia, circa 1730 (now in the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister).