Surviving documented wares bearing the personal arms of Frederick-Augustus II are extremely rare, and that this saucepan, cover and stand bear those arms, testifies to a personal Royal commission. The very type of object suggests personal usage. The tripod legs would have served to keep it aloft over a spirit-burner on a stand, and it would have been used to keep food warm in the bed-chamber or personal apartments of the King, which were far from the palace kitchens. Hard-paste porcelain was ideally suited to the construction of such a vessel, which might have been used to serve gruel or porridge during the lengthy process of the Royal toilet, during which broth would also have been served in écuelles (small covered bowls). The use of metal, silver and latterly porcelain versions of saucepans destined for the personal apartments and particularly the Royal bedchambers of the French court are discussed by Ros Savill in The Wallace Collection Catalogue of Sèvres Porcelain (1988), Vol. II, p.688-9, No.C448-9, where Savill notes that the poêlon (literally, 'little pan'), seems to have been ordered in pairs or threes. Madame de Pompadour's inventory lists both a Meissen example and a Sèvres example among her personal effects.
It is fascinating to see the hand of Queen Maria-Josepha at work in this commission. It was at her instruction that Kändler modelled the handle and feet for the vessel (called a 'Reindl' or 'Reintel'). His Taxa for April 1745 reads: 'Zu einem Reintel für Ihro Majest. die Königin einen sauber verzierten Fuss poussiret' and 1 verzierten Fuss und Stiel zu einen Reintel in Gestalt eines Tiegels gefertiget'; see Rainer Rückert, Meissner Porzellan (Munich, 1966), p. 129, no. 476 and Taf. 140 for an example in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum (also illustrated by Friedrich Hofmann, Das europäische Porzellan des Bayerischen Nationalmuseums, München, 1908, No. 136, Tafel 7).
As the Queen made this commission almost exactly twenty-five years after her marriage, it is possible that this saucepan may have been given as an anniversary gift to the King. The Queen is known to have had such a vessel herself, and it would have been an appropriate gift, particularly from the Queen, its intended use suggesting an elegant yet intimate concern for comfort of the individual. A similar saucepan bearing her arms was sold, Christie's Rome, 22nd May 1972.
The somewhat lavish decoration of the present lot contrasted with the slightly less elaborate decoration of the following lot may represent remnants from two differing, but related, bedroom-services. The apparent lack of other extant components of these services could possibly be explained by the fact that such services were by implication small, and as they were intended for frequent domestic use, the possibility for damage was increased.