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The Emperor Wilhelm II 'Neuozier' Porcelain Table Service
The following service was commissioned from the Berlin porcelain factory by Emperor Wilhelm II to serve as a standard state dining service, intended for use throughout all the Royal residences rather than to be specific to any particular room or Palace. It was designed in the grand rococo tradition to compliment the two great services that preceded it. These were the one commissioned by Emperor Friedrich II in the late 1870s, which in turn was based on a service made for King Frederick the Great in 1781-83.
The basic moulded forms, known as Neuozier, had been the 'new' rococo fluted basket-weave forms developed in the 18th Century as an enlivening and reworking of the 'old' (Altozier) forms. They became standard commercial productions at the factory, decorated in many different ways, considered to be equally suitable for Royal or commercial purposes, and endlessly reinterpreted.
The service made for Frederick the Great had been decorated in the same iron-red and gilt palette as the present service, but with heroic and mythical scenes. To reproduce this decoration would have been a truly mammoth task when a banqueting service of this size was being produced, intended as it was to be spread throughout the Royal Palaces. Instead, the central cartouches were given a motive of the FR monogram emblazoned on the Prussian eagle. The design itself became popular and a variant without the central cartouches was sold by the factory. It is also interesting to note that the the King of Italy ordered a similar service, adapted with the arms of Savoy within the central cartouches.
Part of this service, still in the possession of the family at Huis Doorn, was exhibited at the Deutches Historisches Museum, Berlin and is illustrated in Der Letzte Kaiser Wilhelm II. Im Exil, exhibition catalogue, Munich, 1991, p. 173, no. 23.
Ein grosses neuozier modelliertes Tafelservice mit Monogramm, Berlin K.P.M.