This piece was probably once part of a tea-service of which most of the pieces were sold in these Rooms on 28th June 1976, lots 138-143. The teapot was similarly marked K.P.M. without crossed swords.
The Meissen Betriebsarchiv records that von diesem wurde das erste service, so er roth gemahlet, am 19 Juli 1720 eingebrandt und nacher Dresden mitgenommen. The pieces from the 1976 service are divided between the Hoffmeister Collection in Hamburg (Meissener Porzellan des 18 Jahrhunderts Katalog der Sammlung Hoffmeister [Hamburg, 1999], vol. 1, pp.38-43, nos. 12 and 13), the Carabelli Collection in Basel (Ulrich Pietsch, Frühes Meissener Porzellan [Munich, 2000], Cat. nos. 2/3), a London private collection and a North German private collection (Ulrich Pietsch, Early Meissen Porcelain [Lübeck, 1993], no. 33). It seems that the crouching figure on the cover of the present lot is a variant of the similar subject in the Hoffmeister Collection, no. 13; both of them derived from sheet 3 II 1 and 2 in the Schulz-Codex. The treatment of the rockwork on the present lot recurs throughout the pieces from the Christie's 1976 service.
(The illustration of the cover is larger than actual size)