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Meissen cup and saucer

National Museum of American History
TITLE: Meissen cup and saucer

MAKER: Meissen Manufactory

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: ceramic, porcelain (overall material)

MEASUREMENTS: Cup: H. 1½" 3.8cm; Saucer: D. 4" 10.2cm

OBJECT NAME: Cup and saucer

PLACE MADE: Meissen, Saxony, Germany

DATE MADE: 1745-1750

SUBJECT: The Hans Syz Collection

Art

Domestic Furnishing

Industry and Manufacturing

CREDIT LINE: Hans C. Syz Collection

ID NUMBER: 1989.0715.09 a,b

COLLECTOR/ DONOR: 248 a,b

ACCESSION NUMBER:

(DATA SOURCE: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)

MARKS: Crossed swords in underglaze blue; “4” impressed on cup; “2” impressed on saucer.

PURCHASED FROM: Minerva Antiques, New York, 1943.

This cup and saucer is from the Smithsonian’s Hans Syz Collection of Meissen Porcelain. Dr. Syz (1894-1991) began his collection in the early years of World War II, when he purchased eighteenth-century Meissen table wares from the Art Exchange run by the New York dealer Adolf Beckhardt (1889-1962). Dr. Syz, a Swiss immigrant to the United States, collected Meissen porcelain while engaged in a professional career in psychiatry and the research of human behavior. He believed that cultural artifacts have an important role to play in enhancing our awareness and understanding of human creativity and its communication among peoples. His collection grew to represent this conviction.

The invention of Meissen porcelain, declared over three hundred years ago early in 1709, was a collective achievement that represents an early modern precursor to industrial chemistry and materials science. The porcelains we see in our museum collections, made in the small town of Meissen in the German States, were the result of an intense period of empirical research. Generally associated with artistic achievement of a high order, Meissen porcelain was also a technological achievement in the development of inorganic, non-metallic materials.

The small cup and saucer is decorated with German flowers (deutsche Blumen) in overglaze enamel, likely based on hand-colored plates from Johann Wilhelm Weinmann’s publication, the Phytantoza Iconographia (Nuremberg 1737-1745) among other possible sources held in the manufactory’s collection of floral subjects. The more formally correct German flowers were superseded by mannered flowers (manier Blumen), depicted in a looser and somewhat overblown style based on the work of still-life flower painters and interior designers like Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (1636-1699) and Louis Tessier (1719?-1781), later referred to as “naturalistic” flowers.

The Meissen manufactory operated under a system of division of labor. Flower painters were paid less than workers who specialized in figures and landscapes, and most painters received pay by the piece rather than a regular wage. The gold rim lines are the work of specialists in gold painting and polishing. In the late eighteenth century flower painters were even busier and consumer taste for floral decoration on domestic “china” has endured into our own time, but with the exception of a manufactory like Meissen most floral patterns are now applied by transfers and are not hand-painted directly onto the porcelain.

On graphic sources for Meissen porcelain see Cassidy-Geiger, M., 1996, ‘Graphic Sources for Meissen Porcelain’ in Metropolitan Museum Journal, 31, pp.99-126, and Möller, K. A., “Meissen Pieces Based on Graphic Originals” in Pietsch, U., Banz, C., 2010, Triumph of the Blue Swords: Meissen Porcelain for Aristocracy and Bourgoisie 1710-1815, pp.85-93.

On the painting division at Meissen see Rückert, R., 1990, Biographische Daten der Meißener Manufakturisten des 18. Jahrhunderts, pp. 134-136.

Hans Syz, J. Jefferson Miller II, Rainer Rückert, 1979, Catalogue of the Hans Syz Collection: Meissen Porcelain and Hausmalerei, pp. 366-367.

Meissen stand for a tureen

National Museum of American History
TITLE: Meissen stand for a tureen

MAKER: Meissen Manufactory

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: ceramic, porcelain (overall material)

MEASUREMENTS: L. 10" 25.4cm; W. 7⅛" 18.1cm

OBJECT NAME: Stand

PLACE MADE: Meissen, Saxony, Germany

DATE MADE: 1750-1760

SUBJECT: The Hans Syz Collection

Art

Domestic Furnishing

Industry and Manufacturing

CREDIT LINE: Hans C. Syz Collection

ID NUMBER: 1989.0715.21

COLLECTOR/ DONOR: 194

ACCESSION NUMBER:

(DATA SOURCE: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)

MARKS: Crossed swords in underglaze blue; “30” impressed.

PURCHASED FROM: Adolf Beckhardt, The Art Exchange, New York, 1942.

This stand is from the Smithsonian’s Hans Syz Collection of Meissen Porcelain. Dr. Syz (1894-1991) began his collection in the early years of World War II, when he purchased eighteenth-century Meissen table wares from the Art Exchange run by the New York dealer Adolf Beckhardt (1889-1962). Dr. Syz, a Swiss immigrant to the United States, collected Meissen porcelain while engaged in a professional career in psychiatry and the research of human behavior. He believed that cultural artifacts have an important role to play in enhancing our awareness and understanding of human creativity and its communication among peoples. His collection grew to represent this conviction.

The invention of Meissen porcelain, declared over three hundred years ago early in 1709, was a collective achievement that represents an early modern precursor to industrial chemistry and materials science. The porcelains we see in our museum collections, made in the small town of Meissen in the German States, were the result of an intense period of empirical research. Generally associated with artistic achievement of a high order, Meissen porcelain was also a technological achievement in the development of inorganic, non-metallic materials.

Oval dishes of this shape were manufactured to hold tureens, although they could function alone as serving platters. The overglaze enamel painting represents European flowers both native and naturalized; the tulip is a wild flower of Central Asian origin cultivated in Turkey as early as 1000 AD and in Europe from the sixteenth century. European flowers began to appear on Meissen porcelain in about 1740 as the demand for Far Eastern patterns became less dominant and more high quality printed sources became available in conjunction with growing interest in the scientific study of flora and fauna. For the earlier style of German flowers (deutsche Blumen) Meissen painters referred, among other publications, to Johann Wilhelm Weinmann’s Phytantoza Iconographia (Nuremberg 1737-1745), in which many of the plates of fruits and flowers were engraved after drawings by the outstanding botanical illustrator Georg Dionys Ehret (1708-1770). German flowers were superseded by mannered flowers seen here (manier Blumen), depicted in a looser and somewhat overblown style based on the work of still-life flower painters and interior designers like Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (1636-1699) and Louis Tessier (1719?-1781) and later referred to as naturalistic flowers.

In 1728, the model maker Gottlieb Kirchner (b.1706) introduced a small device for making oval-shaped forms. Further improvements led to a more robust machine developed by the organ builder Johann Ernst Hähnel in 1740, which was granted a patent by the Saxon Elector and King of Poland, Augustus II (1670-1733)making larger scale vessels easier to model.

The Meissen manufactory operated under a system of division of labor. Flower and fruit painters were paid less than workers who specialized in figures and landscapes, and most painters received pay by the piece rather than a regular wage. Gold painting and polishing was the work of another division of specialists. In the late eighteenth century flower painters were even busier and consumer taste for floral decoration on domestic “china” has endured into our own time, but with the exception of a manufactory like Meissen most floral patterns are now applied by transfers and are not hand-painted directly onto the porcelain.

On graphic sources for Meissen porcelain see Möller, K. A., “Meissen Pieces Based on Graphic Originals” in Pietsch, U., Banz, C., 2010, Triumph of the Blue Swords: Meissen Porcelain for Aristocracy and Bourgoisie 1710-1815, pp.85-93; Cassidy-Geiger, M., 1996, ‘Graphic Sources for Meissen Porcelain’ in Metropolitan Museum Journal, 31, pp.99-126.

On the painting division at Meissen see Rückert, R., 1990, Biographische Daten der Meißener Manufakturisten des 18. Jahrhunderts, pp. 134-136

Hans Syz, J. Jefferson Miller II, Rainer Rückert, 1979, Catalogue of the Hans Syz Collection: Meissen Porcelain and Hausmalerei, pp.378-379.

Meissen plate: one of a pair

National Museum of American History
TITLE: Meissen: Pair of plates

MAKER: Meissen Manufactory

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: ceramic, porcelain (overall material)

MEASUREMENTS: D.10⅛" 25.7cm

OBJECT NAME: Plates

PLACE MADE: Meissen, Saxony, Germany

DATE MADE: 1763-1774

SUBJECT: The Hans Syz Collection

Art

Domestic Furnishing

Industry and Manufacturing

CREDIT LINE: Hans C. Syz Collection

ID NUMBER: 78.428 AB

COLLECTOR/ DONOR: 5 AB

ACCESSION NUMBER:

(DATA SOURCE: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)

MARKS: Crossed swords with dot in underglaze blue.

PURCHASED FROM: Adolf Beckhardt, The Art Exchange, New York, 1941.

These plates are from the Smithsonian’s Hans Syz Collection of Meissen Porcelain. Dr. Syz (1894-1991) began his collection in the early years of World War II, when he purchased eighteenth-century Meissen table wares from the Art Exchange run by the New York dealer Adolf Beckhardt (1889-1962). Dr. Syz, a Swiss immigrant to the United States, collected Meissen porcelain while engaged in a professional career in psychiatry and the research of human behavior. He believed that cultural artifacts have an important role to play in enhancing our awareness and understanding of human creativity and its communication among peoples. His collection grew to represent this conviction.

The invention of Meissen porcelain, declared over three hundred years ago early in 1709, was a collective achievement that represents an early modern precursor to industrial chemistry and materials science. The porcelains we see in our museum collections, made in the small town of Meissen in the German States, were the result of an intense period of empirical research. Generally associated with artistic achievement of a high order, Meissen porcelain was also a technological achievement in the development of inorganic, non-metallic materials.

The two plates with petal-shaped edges and brown rim lines have sprays of naturalistic flowers offset in their centers with scattered blooms on the rims, all painted in onglaze enamels. European flowers began to appear on Meissen porcelain in about 1740 as the demand for Far Eastern patterns became less dominant and more high quality printed sources became available in conjunction with growing interest in the scientific study of flora and fauna. For the earlier style of German flowers (deutsche Blumen) Meissen painters referred to Johann Wilhelm Weinmann’s publication, the Phytantoza Iconographia (Nuremberg 1737-1745), in which many of the plates were engraved after drawings by the outstanding botanical illustrator Georg Dionys Ehret (1708-1770). The more formally correct German flowers were superseded by mannered flowers (manier Blumen), depicted in this looser and somewhat overblown style based on the work of still-life flower painters and interior designers like Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (1636-1699) and Louis Tessier (1719?-1781), later referred to as “naturalistic” flowers.

The Meissen manufactory operated under a system of division of labor. Flower and fruit painters were paid less than workers who specialized in figures and landscapes, and most painters received pay by the piece rather than a regular wage. In the late eighteenth century flower painters were even busier and consumer taste for floral decoration on domestic “china” has endured into our own time, but with the exception of a manufactory like Meissen most floral patterns are now applied by transfers and are not hand-painted directly onto the porcelain.

On graphic sources for Meissen porcelain see Möller, K. A., “Meissen Pieces Based on Graphic Originals” in Pietsch, U., Banz, C., 2010, Triumph of the Blue Swords: Meissen Porcelain for Aristocracy and Bourgoisie 1710-1815, pp.85-93; Cassidy-Geiger, M., 1996, ‘Graphic Sources for Meissen Porcelain’ in Metropolitan Museum Journal, 31, pp.99-126.

On the painting division at Meissen see Rückert, R., 1990, Biographische Daten der Meißener Manufakturisten des 18. Jahrhunderts, pp. 134-136.

Hans Syz, J. Jefferson Miller II, Rainer Rückert, 1979, Catalogue of the Hans Syz Collection: Meissen Porcelain and Hausmalerei, pp. 398-399.

Meissen pitcher: one of a pair

National Museum of American History
TITLE: Meissen: Pair of pitchers

MAKER: Meissen Manufactory

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: ceramic, porcelain (overall material)

MEASUREMENTS: H. 2⅜" 6cm

OBJECT NAME: Pair of pitchers

PLACE MADE: Meissen, Saxony, Germany

DATE MADE: 1745

SUBJECT: The Hans Syz Collection

Art

Domestic Furnishing

Industry and Manufacturing

CREDIT LINE: Hans C. Syz Collection

ID NUMBER: 1989.0715.14 A,B

COLLECTOR/ DONOR: 320 A,B

ACCESSION NUMBER:

(DATA SOURCE: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)

MARKS: Crossed swords in underglaze blue; “3” impressed.

PURCHASED FROM: Adolf Beckhardt, The Art Exchange, New York, 1943.

These pitchers are from the Smithsonian’s Hans Syz Collection of Meissen Porcelain. Dr. Syz (1894-1991) began his collection in the early years of World War II, when he purchased eighteenth-century Meissen table wares from the Art Exchange run by the New York dealer Adolf Beckhardt (1889-1962). Dr. Syz, a Swiss immigrant to the United States, collected Meissen porcelain while engaged in a professional career in psychiatry and the research of human behavior. He believed that cultural artifacts have an important role to play in enhancing our awareness and understanding of human creativity and its communication among peoples. His collection grew to represent this conviction.

The invention of Meissen porcelain, declared over three hundred years ago early in 1709, was a collective achievement that represents an early modern precursor to industrial chemistry and materials science. The porcelains we see in our museum collections, made in the small town of Meissen in the German States, were the result of an intense period of empirical research. Generally associated with artistic achievement of a high order, Meissen porcelain was also a technological achievement in the development of inorganic, non-metallic materials.

These small pitchers are painted with "German" flowers (deutsche Blumen) in overglaze enamel within white reserves surrounded by a yellow onglaze ground color. European flowers began to appear on Meissen porcelain in about 1740 as the demand for Far Eastern patterns became less dominant and more high quality printed sources became available in conjunction with growing interest in the scientific study of flora and fauna. For German flowers as seen on these examples Meissen painters referred to Johann Wilhelm Weinmann’s Phytantoza Iconographia (Nuremberg 1737-1745), among other publications, in which many of the plates of fruits and flowers were engraved after drawings by the outstanding botanical illustrator Georg Dionys Ehret (1708-1770). The more formally correct German flowers were superseded by mannered flowers (manier Blumen), depicted in a looser and somewhat overblown style based on the work of still-life flower painters and interior designers like Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (1636-1699) and Louis Tessier (1719?-1781), later referred to as “naturalistic” flowers.

The Meissen manufactory operated under a system of division of labor. Flower and fruit painters were paid less than workers who specialized in figures and landscapes, and most painters received pay by the piece instead of a regular wage. In the late eighteenth century flower painters were even busier and consumer taste for floral decoration on domestic china has continues into our own time, but with the exception of a manufactory like Meissen most floral patterns are now applied by transfers and are not hand-painted directly onto the porcelain.

Objects of this shape began as tea bowls with deep matching saucers into which the tea was poured in order to cool it down. They are described variously as tea bowls, bouillon cups, and cream pitchers.

On graphic sources for Meissen porcelain see Möller, K. A., “Meissen Pieces Based on Graphic Originals” in Pietsch, U., Banz, C., 2010, Triumph of the Blue Swords: Meissen Porcelain for Aristocracy and Bourgoisie 1710-1815, pp.85-93; Cassidy-Geiger, M., 1996, ‘Graphic Sources for Meissen Porcelain’ in Metropolitan Museum Journal, 31, pp.99-126.

On the painting division at Meissen see Rückert, R., 1990, Biographische Daten der Meißener Manufakturisten des 18. Jahrhunderts, pp. 134-136

Hans Syz, J. Jefferson Miller II, Rainer Rückert, 1979, Catalogue of the Hans Syz Collection: Meissen Porcelain and Hausmalerei, pp. 372-373.

Meissen pitcher: one of a pair

National Museum of American History
TITLE: Meissen: Pair of pitchers

MAKER: Meissen Manufactory

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: ceramic, porcelain (overall material)

MEASUREMENTS: H. 2⅜" 6cm

OBJECT NAME: Pair of pitchers

PLACE MADE: Meissen, Saxony, Germany

DATE MADE: 1745

SUBJECT: The Hans Syz Collection

Art

Domestic Furnishing

Industry and Manufacturing

CREDIT LINE: Hans C. Syz Collection

ID NUMBER: 1989.0715.14 A,B

COLLECTOR/ DONOR: 320 A,B

ACCESSION NUMBER:

(DATA SOURCE: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)

MARKS: Crossed swords in underglaze blue; “3” impressed.

PURCHASED FROM: Adolf Beckhardt, The Art Exchange, New York, 1943.

These pitchers are from the Smithsonian’s Hans Syz Collection of Meissen Porcelain. Dr. Syz (1894-1991) began his collection in the early years of World War II, when he purchased eighteenth-century Meissen table wares from the Art Exchange run by the New York dealer Adolf Beckhardt (1889-1962). Dr. Syz, a Swiss immigrant to the United States, collected Meissen porcelain while engaged in a professional career in psychiatry and the research of human behavior. He believed that cultural artifacts have an important role to play in enhancing our awareness and understanding of human creativity and its communication among peoples. His collection grew to represent this conviction.

The invention of Meissen porcelain, declared over three hundred years ago early in 1709, was a collective achievement that represents an early modern precursor to industrial chemistry and materials science. The porcelains we see in our museum collections, made in the small town of Meissen in the German States, were the result of an intense period of empirical research. Generally associated with artistic achievement of a high order, Meissen porcelain was also a technological achievement in the development of inorganic, non-metallic materials.

These small pitchers are painted with German flowers (deutsche Blumen) in overglaze enamel within white reserves surrounded by a yellow onglaze ground color. European flowers began to appear on Meissen porcelain in about 1740 as the demand for Far Eastern patterns became less dominant and more high quality printed sources became available in conjunction with growing interest in the scientific study of flora and fauna. For German flowers as seen on these examples Meissen painters referred to Johann Wilhelm Weinmann’s Phytantoza Iconographia (Nuremberg 1737-1745), among other publications, in which many of the plates of fruits and flowers were engraved after drawings by the outstanding botanical illustrator Georg Dionys Ehret (1708-1770). The more formally correct German flowers were superseded by mannered flowers (manier Blumen), depicted in a looser and somewhat overblown style based on the work of still-life flower painters and interior designers like Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (1636-1699) and Louis Tessier (1719?-1781), later referred to as “naturalistic” flowers.

The Meissen manufactory operated under a system of division of labor. Flower and fruit painters were paid less than workers who specialized in figures and landscapes, and most painters received pay by the piece instead of a regular wage. In the late eighteenth century flower painters were even busier and consumer taste for floral decoration on domestic china has continues into our own time, but with the exception of a manufactory like Meissen most floral patterns are now applied by transfers and are not hand-painted directly onto the porcelain.

Objects of this shape began as tea bowls with deep matching saucers into which the tea was poured in order to cool it down. They are described variously as tea bowls, bouillon cups, and cream pitchers.

On graphic sources for Meissen porcelain see Möller, K. A., “Meissen Pieces Based on Graphic Originals” in Pietsch, U., Banz, C., 2010, Triumph of the Blue Swords: Meissen Porcelain for Aristocracy and Bourgoisie 1710-1815, pp.85-93; Cassidy-Geiger, M., 1996, ‘Graphic Sources for Meissen Porcelain’ in Metropolitan Museum Journal, 31, pp.99-126.

On the painting division at Meissen see Rückert, R., 1990, Biographische Daten der Meißener Manufakturisten des 18. Jahrhunderts, pp. 134-136

Hans Syz, J. Jefferson Miller II, Rainer Rückert, 1979, Catalogue of the Hans Syz Collection: Meissen Porcelain and Hausmalerei, pp. 372-373.

Meissen cup and saucer

National Museum of American History
TITLE: Meissen cup and saucer

MAKER: Meissen Manufactory

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: ceramic, porcelain (overall material)

MEASUREMENTS: Cup: H. 1⅞" 4.8cm; Saucer: D. 5¼" 13.3cm

OBJECT NAME: Cup and saucer

PLACE MADE: Meissen, Saxony, Germany

DATE MADE: 1755

SUBJECT: The Hans Syz Collection

Art

Domestic Furnishing

Industry and Manufacturing

CREDIT LINE: Hans C. Syz Collection

ID NUMBER: 1992.0427.06 a,b

COLLECTOR/ DONOR: 51 a,b

ACCESSION NUMBER:

(DATA SOURCE: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)

MARKS: Crossed swords in underglaze blue; “17” impressed on saucer; “66” or “99” impressed on cup.

PURCHASED FROM: Adolf Beckhardt, The Art Exchange, New York, 1941.

This cup and saucer is from the Smithsonian’s Hans Syz Collection of Meissen Porcelain. Dr. Syz (1894-1991) began his collection in the early years of World War II, when he purchased eighteenth-century Meissen table wares from the Art Exchange run by the New York dealer Adolf Beckhardt (1889-1962). Dr. Syz, a Swiss immigrant to the United States, collected Meissen porcelain while engaged in a professional career in psychiatry and the research of human behavior. He believed that cultural artifacts have an important role to play in enhancing our awareness and understanding of human creativity and its communication among peoples. His collection grew to represent this conviction.

The invention of Meissen porcelain, declared over three hundred years ago early in 1709, was a collective achievement that represents an early modern precursor to industrial chemistry and materials science. The porcelains we see in our museum collections, made in the small town of Meissen in the German States, were the result of an intense period of empirical research. Generally associated with artistic achievement of a high order, Meissen porcelain was also a technological achievement in the development of inorganic, non-metallic materials.

On this cup and saucer the blue ground incorporates a scale pattern leaving two reserves for the overglaze enamel painted sprays of naturalistic flowers and fruits.

European flowers began to appear on Meissen porcelain in about 1740 as the demand for Far Eastern patterns became less dominant and more high quality printed sources became available in conjunction with growing interest in the scientific study of flora and fauna. For the earlier style of “German flowers” (deutsche Blumen) the Meissen painters referred, among other publications, to Johann Wilhelm Weinmann’s Phytantoza Iconographia (Nuremberg 1737-1745), in which many of the plates of fruits and flowers were engraved after drawings by the outstanding botanical illustrator Georg Dionys Ehret (1708-1770). The more formally correct German flowers were superseded by mannered flowers (manier Blumen), depicted in a looser and somewhat overblown style based on the work of still-life flower painters and interior designers like Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (1636-1699) and Louis Tessier (1719?-1781), later referred to as “naturalistic” flowers.

The Meissen manufactory operated under a system of division of labor. Flower and fruit painters were paid less than workers who specialized in figures and landscapes, and most painters received pay by the piece rather than a regular wage. Details in gold were applied by specialists in gold painting and polishing at Meissen, and so was the application of the blue scale pattern. In the late eighteenth century flower painters were even busier and consumer taste for floral decoration on domestic “china” has endured into our own time, but with the exception of a manufactory like Meissen most floral patterns are now applied by transfers and are not hand-painted directly onto the porcelain.

On graphic sources for Meissen porcelain see Möller, K. A., “Meissen Pieces Based on Graphic Originals” in Pietsch, U., Banz, C., 2010, Triumph of the Blue Swords: Meissen Porcelain for Aristocracy and Bourgoisie 1710-1815, pp.85-93; Cassidy-Geiger, M., 1996, ‘Graphic Sources for Meissen Porcelain’ in Metropolitan Museum Journal, 31, pp.99-126.

On the painting division at Meissen see Rückert, R., 1990, Biographische Daten der Meißener Manufakturisten des 18. Jahrhunderts, pp. 134-136

Hans Syz, J. Jefferson Miller II, Rainer Rückert, 1979, Catalogue of the Hans Syz Collection: Meissen Porcelain and Hausmalerei, pp. 408-409.

Meissen vinegar pot

National Museum of American History
TITLE: Meissen vinegar pot for a plat de ménage

MAKER: Meissen Manufactory

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: ceramic, porcelain (overall material)

MEASUREMENTS: H. 6⅞" 17.5cm

OBJECT NAME: Vinegar pot

PLACE MADE: Meissen, Saxony, Germany

DATE MADE: 1735

SUBJECT: Art

Domestic Furnishing

Industry and Manufacturing

CREDIT LINE: Hans C. Syz Collection

ID NUMBER: 71.201 a,b

COLLECTOR/ DONOR: 744 a,b

ACCESSION NUMBER:

(DATA SOURCE: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)

MARKS: Crossed swords in underglaze blue.

PURCHASED FROM: S. Berges, New York, 1947.

This vinegar pot is from the Smithsonian’s Hans Syz Collection of Meissen Porcelain. Dr. Syz (1894-1991) began his collection in the early years of World War II, when he purchased eighteenth-century Meissen table wares from the Art Exchange run by the New York dealer Adolf Beckhardt (1889-1962). Dr. Syz, a Swiss immigrant to the United States, collected Meissen porcelain while engaged in a professional career in psychiatry and the research of human behavior. He believed that cultural artifacts have an important role to play in enhancing our awareness and understanding of human creativity and its communication among peoples. His collection grew to represent this conviction.

The invention of Meissen porcelain, declared over three hundred years ago early in 1709, was a collective achievement that represents an early modern precursor to industrial chemistry and materials science. The porcelains we see in our museum collections, made in the small town of Meissen in the German States, were the result of an intense period of empirical research. Generally associated with artistic achievement of a high order, Meissen porcelain was also a technological achievement in the development of inorganic, non-metallic materials.

This vinegar pot was part of a plat de ménage that served as a centerpiece on the dining or banqueting table, also known as an ‘Epargne’ from the French épargner’ meaning to serve and often made in silver or silver gilt. The plat de ménage held cruet sets containing various condiments like oil and vinegar, mustard, salt, spices, and sugar for guests to season their food during service in the French style of three main savory courses before the often spectacular dessert. The vinegar pot’s partner was the oil pot, and the Meissen modelers designed the vinegar pot with a grimacing mask at the base of the spout as can be seen here, whereas the oil pot sometimes has a mask that smiles affably. The two containers were used for dressing salads and vegetables in much the same way as some people choose to do today. The largest vessel on a plat de ménage was the lemon basket and in later models centerpieces were exploited by the Meissen modelers for their sculptural potential by introducing figures and elaborate ornamentation.

The vinegar pot has a double scroll handle and the long thin spout allows for better control in pouring the liquid onto the food. The cover has a finial in the shape of an artichoke. A band of egg and dart raised molding separates flying phoenixes in the upper section of the pot (Ho-ho birds in Japanese mythology with different aspects to the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern phoenix). In the lower band are rice bundle straw fences and flowering tree peonies. Apart from the enamel painted pattern the oil pot is a product of the European baroque style and no such vessel existed in China or Japan unless copied for export after European models. This pot and the oil pot similar to it except for the painted subjects (ID# 71.202 a,b) derive their shape and ornament from contemporary European silver vessels for a plat de ménage.

On the ‘plat de ménage’ see Hantschmann, K., “The ‘plat de ménage’: The Centrepiece on the Banqueting Table”, in Pietsch, U., Banz, C., 2010, Triumph of the Blue Swords: Meissen Porcelain for Aristocracy and Bourgoisie 1710-1815, pp. 106-119.

For a sugar caster with a similar onglaze enamel pattern see Pietsch, U., 2011, Early Meissen Porcelain: the Wark Collection from the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, p.282; see also Weber, J., 2013, Meissener Porzellane mit Dekoren nach ostasiatischen Vorbildern: Stiftung Ernst Schneider in Schloss Lustheim, Band II, p.229. Johann Joachim Kaendler’s work book records two occasions when he modeled oil and vinegar pots, in June 1733 and January 1734, but it is not clear to which version this pot belongs, see Die Arbeitsberichte des Meissener Porzellanmodelleurs Johann Joachim Kaendler 1706-1775, 2002 , pp.19-20, p. 22.

Jefferson Miller II, J., Rückert, R., Syz, H., 1979, Catalogue of the Hans Syz Collection: Meissen Porcelain and Hausmalerei, pp. 158-159.

Meissen Böttger porcelain rinsing bowl (Hausmaler)

National Museum of American History
TITLE: Meissen rinsing bowl (Hausmaler)

MAKER: Meissen Manufactory

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: ceramic, porcelain, hard paste (overall material)

MEASUREMENTS: H. 3¼" 8.3cm; D. 6⅞" 17.5cm

OBJECT NAME: Bowl

PLACE MADE: Meissen, Saxony, Germany

DATE MADE: 1715-1720

SUBJECT: The Hans Syz Collection

Art

Domestic Furnishing

Industry and Manufacturing

CREDIT LINE: Hans C. Syz Collection

ID NUMBER: 1983.0565.66

COLLECTOR/ DONOR: 661

ACCESSION NUMBER:

(DATA SOURCE: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)

MARKS: None

PURCHASED FROM: Hans E. Backer, London, England, 1947.

This rinsing bowl is from the Smithsonian’s Hans Syz Collection of Meissen Porcelain. Dr. Syz (1894-1991) began his collection in the early years of World War II, when he purchased eighteenth-century Meissen table wares from the Art Exchange run by the New York dealer Adolf Beckhardt (1889-1962). Dr. Syz, a Swiss immigrant to the United States, collected Meissen porcelain while engaged in a professional career in psychoanalysis and the research of human behavior. He believed that cultural artifacts have an important role to play in enhancing our awareness and understanding of human creativity and its communication among peoples. His collection grew to represent this conviction.

The invention of Meissen porcelain, declared over three hundred years ago early in 1709, was a collective achievement that represents an early modern precursor to industrial chemistry and materials science. The porcelains we see in our museum collections, made in the small town of Meissen in Germany, were the result of an intense period of empirical research. Generally associated with artistic achievement of a high order, Meissen porcelain was also a technological achievement in the development of inorganic, non-metallic materials.

The bowl was made in the Meissen manufactory but painted outside by an independent artist. Hausmalerei is a German word that means in literal translation ‘home painting’, and it refers to the practice of painting enamels and gold onto the surface of blank ceramics and glass in workshops outside the manufactory of origin. Beginning in the seventeenth century the work of the Hausmaler varied in quality from the outstanding workshops of Nuremberg, Augsburg, and Breslau (now Wroclaw in Poland), to the less skilled efforts of amateur artists. Early Meissen porcelain was sought after for this purpose, and wealthy patrons of local enameling and gilding workshops purchased undecorated porcelain, often of out-moded or inferior quality, which was then enameled with subjects of their choice. Hausmalerei was at first acceptable to the early porcelain manufactories like Meissen and Vienna, and Meissen sent blank porcelain to Augsburg workshops for decoration, but as the market became more competitive they tried to eradicate the practice. It was a temptation for Meissen porcelain painters to take on extra work as Hausmaler to augment their low pay, and the manufactory cautioned or imprisoned them if Hausmalerei activity was suspected or discovered.

Hunting scenes painted in gold formed another genre alongside the chinoiseries in Hausmaler work. The rinsing bowl, designed to collect spent tea leaves and receive a rinse of water before a fresh cup filled a drinker’s tea bowl, has a fast moving hunting scene running around the exterior surface, the so-called “parforce” in which quarry was driven towards the hunters. Scrollwork consoles support the figures, and scrollwork borders decorate the interior rim of the bowl. It was painted in Augsburg, probably by Abraham Seuter (1689-1747), after 1722.

On the Augsburg Hausmaler Abraham Seuter see Ducret, S., 1971, Meissner Porzellan bemalt in Augsburg, 1718 bis um 1750, Band 1 Goldmalereien und bunte Chinoiserien.

On Hausmaler see Ulrich Pietsch, 2011, Early Meissen Porcelain: The Wark Collection from The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, pp. 43-46.

Hans Syz, J. Jefferson Miller II, Rainer Rückert, 1979, Catalogue of the Hans Syz Collection: Meissen Porcelain and Hausmalerei, pp. 498-499.

Meissen plate (Hausmaler)

National Museum of American History
TITLE: Meissen plate (Hausmaler)

MAKER: Meissen Manufactory

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: ceramic, porcelain, hard paste (overall material)

MEASUREMENTS: D. 9½" 24.2 cm.

OBJECT NAME: Plate

PLACE MADE: Meissen, Saxony, Germany

DATE MADE: 1740-1750

SUBJECT: The Hans Syz Collection

Art

Domestic Furnishing

Industry and Manufacturing

CREDIT LINE: Hans C. Syz Collection

ID NUMBER: 1987.0896.44

COLLECTOR/ DONOR: 716

ACCESSION NUMBER:

(DATA SOURCE: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)

MARKS: Crossed swords in underglaze blue; “6” or “9” impressed.

PURCHASED FROM: Otto Buel Gallery, Lucerne, Switzerland, 1947.

This plate is from the Smithsonian’s Hans Syz Collection of Meissen Porcelain. Dr. Syz (1894-1991) began his collection in the early years of World War II, when he purchased eighteenth-century Meissen table wares from the Art Exchange run by the New York dealer Adolf Beckhardt (1889-1962). Dr. Syz, a Swiss immigrant to the United States, collected Meissen porcelain while engaged in a professional career in psychiatry and the research of human behavior. He believed that cultural artifacts have an important role to play in enhancing our awareness and understanding of human creativity and its communication among peoples. His collection grew to represent this conviction.

The invention of Meissen porcelain, declared over three hundred years ago early in 1709, was a collective achievement that represents an early modern precursor to industrial chemistry and materials science. The porcelains we see in our museum collections, made in the small town of Meissen in Germany, were the result of an intense period of empirical research. Generally associated with artistic achievement of a high order, Meissen porcelain was also a technological achievement in the development of inorganic, non-metallic materials.

The plate was made in the Meissen manufactory but painted outside by an independent artist. Hausmalerei is a German word that means in literal translation ‘home painting’, and it refers to the practice of painting enamels and gold onto the surface of blank ceramics and glass in workshops outside the manufactory of origin. Beginning in the seventeenth century the work of the Hausmaler varied in quality from the outstanding workshops of Nuremberg, Augsburg, and Breslau (now Wroclaw in Poland), to the less skilled efforts of amateur artists. Early Meissen porcelain was sought after for this purpose, and wealthy patrons of local enameling and gilding workshops purchased undecorated porcelain, often of out-moded or inferior quality, which was then enameled with subjects of their choice. Hausmalerei was at first acceptable to the early porcelain manufactories like Meissen and Vienna, and Meissen sent blank porcelain to Augsburg workshops for decoration, but as the market became more competitive they tried to eradicate the practice. It was a temptation for Meissen porcelain painters to take on extra work as Hausmaler to augment their low pay, and the manufactory cautioned or imprisoned them if Hausmalerei activity was suspected or discovered.

Bayreuth was the German city in which the Hausmalerei workshop of Johann Friedrich Metsch (1706-1766) was situated, and he is recorded also as painting on porcelain in Dresden in about 1731. After the Meissen manufactory refused to supply him with blank pieces he moved to Bayreuth and worked for the faience manufactory there. In his own workshop he painted on white Meissen vessels and on porcelain imported from Jingdezhen in China. This plate is typical of his style that featured landscapes, floral designs, harbor scenes and mythological subjects, often painted in purple monochrome and framed by elaborate scrollwork like the shell motif seen here. The sources for his subjects were the numerous ornamental prints circulating in artisan workshops, and prints after paintings by Dutch, French, and Italian artists.

On Hausmaler see Ulrich Pietsch, 2011, Early Meissen Porcelain: The Wark Collection from The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, pp. 43-46; Pazaurek G.E., 1925, Deutsche Fayence und Porzellan Hausmaler.

Hans Syz, J. Jefferson Miller II, Rainer Rückert, 1979, Catalogue of the Hans Syz Collection: Meissen Porcelain and Hausmalerei, pp. 544-545.

Meissen plate

National Museum of American History
TITLE: Meissen: Pair of Plates

MAKER: Meissen Manufactory

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: ceramic, porcelain (overall material)

MEASUREMENTS: D. 9⅞" 25.1cm

OBJECT NAME: Plates

PLACE MADE: Meissen, Saxony, Germany

DATE MADE: 1760

SUBJECT: The Hans Syz Collection

Art

Domestic Furnishing

Industry and Manufacturing

CREDIT LINE: Hans C. Syz Collection

ID NUMBER: 63.244. AB

COLLECTOR/ DONOR: 378 AB

ACCESSION NUMBER:

(DATA SOURCE: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)

MARKS: Crossed swords in underglaze blue; “22” impressed.

PURCHASED FROM: Arthur S. Vernay, New York, 1943.

These plates are from the Smithsonian’s Hans Syz Collection of Meissen Porcelain. Dr. Syz (1894-1991) began his collection in the early years of World War II, when he purchased eighteenth-century Meissen table wares from the Art Exchange run by the New York dealer Adolf Beckhardt (1889-1962). Dr. Syz, a Swiss immigrant to the United States, collected Meissen porcelain while engaged in a professional career in psychoanalysis and the research of human behavior. He believed that cultural artifacts have an important role to play in enhancing our awareness and understanding of human creativity and its communication among peoples. His collection grew to represent this conviction.

The invention of Meissen porcelain, declared over three hundred years ago early in 1709, was a collective achievement that represents an early modern precursor to industrial chemistry and materials science. The porcelains we see in our museum collections, made in the small town of Meissen in the German States, were the result of an intense period of empirical research. Generally associated with artistic achievement of a high order, Meissen porcelain was also a technological achievement in the development of inorganic, non-metallic materials.

Sprays of natural flowers take up the center of these plates. The reserves on the flanges frame paintings in onglaze enamel of songbirds perched on branches that were likely based on hand-colored plates from Eleazar Albin’s (1713-1759) two volume work A Natural History of Birds, first published in London in 1731, with a second edition in 1738. The Meissen manufactory had a copy of the work, one of the earliest illustrated books on birds that Albin completed with his daughter Elizabeth. Keeping caged songbirds was popular with many people across a broad spectrum of the eighteenth-century middle class and nobility, and their decorative potential was exploited especially in wall coverings, textiles, and ceramics.

The specialist bird painters (Vogelmaler) at Meissen were low in number compared to the flower painters, but the term “color painter” (Buntmaler) was a fluid term indicating that painters moved from one category to another as demand required, especially for flower, fruit and bird subjects.

The low relief pattern on the flanges of the plates is the so-called “New Dulong” (Neu Dulong) pattern named for the Amsterdam merchant who was a dealer for Meissen. Johann Joachim Kaendler (1706-1775) recorded modeling a trial plate for a table service for Monsieur Dulong in June 1743. The process of creating shallow relief patterns was laborious and required considerable skill, and the “New Dulong” pattern was one of the first to break away from the formality of the basket weave designs to introduce a flowing pattern in the rococo style.

These plates belong to the same or similar pattern as the tureen, cover, and stand (ID number 1992.0427.20 abc.)

On graphic sources for Meissen porcelain see Möller, K. A., “Meissen Pieces Based on Graphic Originals” in Pietsch, U., Banz, C., 2010, Triumph of the Blue Swords: Meissen Porcelain for Aristocracy and Bourgoisie 1710-1815, pp.85-93; Cassidy-Geiger, M., 1996, ‘Graphic Sources for Meissen Porcelain’ in Metropolitan Museum Journal, 31, pp.99-126.

On relief decoration see Reinheckel, G., 1968, ‘Plastiche Dekorationsformen im Meissner Porzellan des 18 Jahrhunderts’ in Keramos, 41/42, Juli/Oktober , p. 103, 104, 77-No. 60.

On the painting division at Meissen see Rückert, R., 1990, Biographische Daten der Meißener Manufakturisten des 18. Jahrhunderts, pp. 134-136

Hans Syz, J. Jefferson Miller II, Rainer Rückert, 1979, Catalogue of the Hans Syz Collection, pp. 412-413.

Meissen dish (Hausmaler)

National Museum of American History
TITLE: Meissen dish (Hausmaler)

MAKER: Meissen Manufactory

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: ceramic, porcelain, hard paste (overall material)

MEASUREMENTS: D. 13½" 34.2 cm

OBJECT NAME: Dish

PLACE MADE: Meissen, Saxony, Germany

DATE MADE: 1730-1735

SUBJECT: The Hans Syz Collection

Art

Domestic Furnishing

Industry and Manufacturing

CREDIT LINE: Hans C. Syz Collection

ID NUMBER: 63.267

COLLECTOR/ DONOR: 529

ACCESSION NUMBER:

(DATA SOURCE: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)

MARKS: Crossed swords and “K” in underglaze blue; “3” incised.

PURCHASED FROM: Julius Carlebach, New York, 1944.

This dish is from the Smithsonian’s Hans Syz Collection of Meissen Porcelain. Dr. Syz (1894-1991) began his collection in the early years of World War II, when he purchased eighteenth-century Meissen table wares from the Art Exchange run by the New York dealer Adolf Beckhardt (1889-1962). Dr. Syz, a Swiss immigrant to the United States, collected Meissen porcelain while engaged in a professional career in psychiatry and the research of human behavior. He believed that cultural artifacts have an important role to play in enhancing our awareness and understanding of human creativity and its communication among peoples. His collection grew to represent this conviction.

The invention of Meissen porcelain, declared over three hundred years ago early in 1709, was a collective achievement that represents an early modern precursor to industrial chemistry and materials science. The porcelains we see in our museum collections, made in the small town of Meissen in Germany, were the result of an intense period of empirical research. Generally associated with artistic achievement of a high order, Meissen porcelain was also a technological achievement in the development of inorganic, non-metallic materials.

This dish was made in the Meissen manufactory but painted outside by an independent artist. Hausmalerei is a German word that means in literal translation ‘home painting’, and it refers to the practice of painting enamels and gold onto the surface of blank ceramics and glass in workshops outside the manufactory of origin. Beginning in the seventeenth century the work of the Hausmaler varied in quality from the outstanding workshops of Nuremberg, Augsburg, and Breslau (now Wroclaw in Poland), to the less skilled efforts of amateur artists. Early Meissen porcelain was sought after for this purpose, and wealthy patrons of local enameling and gilding workshops purchased undecorated porcelain, often of out-moded or inferior quality, which was then enameled with subjects of their choice. Hausmalerei was at first acceptable to the early porcelain manufactories like Meissen and Vienna, and Meissen sent blank porcelain to Augsburg workshops for decoration, but as the market became more competitive they tried to eradicate the practice. It was a temptation for Meissen porcelain painters to take on extra work as Hausmaler to augment their low pay, and the manufactory cautioned or imprisoned them if Hausmalerei activity was suspected or discovered.

The dish has a variation of the Meissen “onion” pattern painted in underglaze blue at the manufactory. The gold decoration was applied later, probably in a workshop in Augsburg in the 1730s; the scrollwork on the gold band framing the center of the dish was typical of Augsburg ornamentation on porcelain, and fine dry point engraving on gold was another technique practiced by the Augsburg Hausmaler. The so-called underglaze blue “onion” pattern was a Meissen design incorporating various stylized motifs from original Chinese prototypes.

Underglaze blue is a pigment made from cobalt oxide that is applied to the surface of the porous raw clay or biscuit-fired porcelain before the high temperature glaze firing. At first, the Meissen manufactory struggled to find success in underglaze blue painting in imitation of Chinese and Japanese prototypes because cobalt oxide is a powerful flux and runs easily blurring the pattern under the glaze. After exhaustive trials involving a change to the porcelain body itself, this highly successful form of decoration entered production at Meissen in the early-to-mid 1720s. Cobalt was mined locally in the mineral rich Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains) near the Saxon border with Bohemia, now the Czech Republic.

On Hausmaler see Ulrich Pietsch, 2011, Early Meissen Porcelain: The Wark Collection from The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, pp. 43-46.

Hans Syz, J. Jefferson Miller II, Rainer Rückert, 1979, Catalogue of the Hans Syz Collection: Meissen Porcelain and Hausmalerei, pp. 504-505.

Meissen figure from the Monkey Band

National Museum of American History
TITLE: Meissen figure of a monkey flautist

MAKER: Meissen Manufactory

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: ceramic, porcelain, hard paste (overall material)

MEASUREMENTS: 5¾" 14.6 cm

OBJECT NAME: Figure

PLACE MADE: Meissen, Saxony, Germany

DATE MADE: 1765-1766

SUBJECT: The Hans Syz Collection

Art

Domestic Furnishing

Industry and Manufacturing

CREDIT LINE: Hans C. Syz Collection

ID NUMBER: 65.386

COLLECTOR/ DONOR: 379

ACCESSION NUMBER:

(DATA SOURCE: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)

MARKS: Crossed swords in underglaze blue; “14” impressed (series number).

PURCHASED FROM: Adolf Beckhardt, The Art Exchange, New York, 1943.

This figure is from the Smithsonian’s Hans Syz Collection of Meissen Porcelain. Dr. Syz (1894-1991) began his collection in the early years of World War II, when he purchased eighteenth-century Meissen table wares from the Art Exchange run by the New York dealer Adolf Beckhardt (1889-1962). Dr. Syz, a Swiss immigrant to the United States, collected Meissen porcelain while engaged in a professional career in psychiatry and the research of human behavior. He believed that cultural artifacts have an important role to play in enhancing our awareness and understanding of human creativity and its communication among peoples. His collection grew to represent this conviction.

The invention of Meissen porcelain, declared over three hundred years ago early in 1709, was a collective achievement that represents an early modern precursor to industrial chemistry and materials science. The porcelains we see in our museum collections, made in the small town of Meissen in Germany, were the result of an intense period of empirical research. Generally associated with artistic achievement of a high order, Meissen porcelain was also a technological achievement in the development of inorganic, non-metallic materials.

The Monkey Band, begun by Johann Joachim Kaendler (1706-1775) in about 1747 and completed by him with Peter Reinicke ((1715-1768) by 1766, was a very popular series. The nineteen figures were based on drawings by Christophe Huet (1692-1765) in the manner of his singeries, the painted interiors featuring anthropomorphic monkey figures in the Chateau of Chantilly north of Paris and in the Hôtel de Rohan in Paris itself.

A music stand in the Monkey Band identifies the figure group with the opera seria Lucio Pipirio Dittatore by Johann Adolph Hasse (1699-1783) premiered in Dresden in 1742. German by birth, Hasse was a prolific and highly successful composer in the Italian style, and with his equally successful wife, the singer Faustina Bordoni (1700-1781), he worked for several European courts, but composed and directed music for the Dresden court for most of his active career.

Like the chinoiseries, the singeries represented an exotic fantasy, but one that expressed a form of mockery of human behavior. Monkeys were exotic pets, and captive chimpanzees were a source of great interest because of their obvious kinship to humans that both fascinated and repelled Europeans. Where did a chimpanzee or a monkey stand in relation to the human species? Eighteenth-century naturalists asked questions that sought to throw light on the nature of being human, and they looked for answers and understanding in the behavior of other animals.

Meissen figures and figure groups are usually sculpted in special modeling clay and then carefully cut into separate pieces from which individual molds are made. Porcelain clay is then pressed into the molds and the whole figure or group reassembled to its original form, a process requiring great care and skill. The piece is then dried thoroughly before firing in the kiln. The figure is painted in overglaze enamel colors.

Go to the Rhode Island School of Design Museum for more information on the Monkey Band with a recording of the fragment of notes visible on the music stand: http://risdmuseum.org/notes/151_live_from_risd_its_the_meissen_monkey_band

On the modeling and molding process still practiced today at Meissen see Alfred Ziffer, “‘…skillfully made ready for moulding…’ The Work of Johann Joachim Kaendler” in Pietsch, U., Banz, C., 2010, Triumph of the Blue Swords: Meissen Porcelain for Aristocracy and Bourgeoisie 1710-1815, pp.61-67.

Hans Syz, J. Jefferson Miller II, Rainer Rückert, 1979, Catalogue of the Hans Syz Collection, pp. 458-459.

Meissen cup and saucer

National Museum of American History
TITLE: Meissen cup and saucer

MAKER: Meissen Manufactory

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: ceramic, porcelain (overall material)

MEASUREMENTS: Cup: H. 1½" 3.8cm; Saucer: D. 4¾" 12.1cm

OBJECT NAME: Cup and saucer

PLACE MADE: Meissen, Saxony, Germany

DATE MADE:1740-45

SUBJECT: The Hans Syz Collection

Art

Domestic Furnishing

Industry and Manufacturing

CREDIT LINE: Hans C. Syz Collection

ID NUMBER: 1989.0715.08 a,b

COLLECTOR/ DONOR: 521 a,b

ACCESSION NUMBER:

(DATA SOURCE: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)

MARKS: Crossed swords in underglaze blue; “A” in purple (painter’s mark); “63” impressed on saucer; “E” impressed on cup.

PURCHASED FROM: Adolf Beckhardt, The Art Exchange, New York, 1944.

This cup and saucer is from the Smithsonian’s Hans Syz Collection of Meissen Porcelain. Dr. Syz (1894-1991) began his collection in the early years of World War II, when he purchased eighteenth-century Meissen table wares from the Art Exchange run by the New York dealer Adolf Beckhardt (1889-1962). Dr. Syz, a Swiss immigrant to the United States, collected Meissen porcelain while engaged in a professional career in psychiatry and the research of human behavior. He believed that cultural artifacts have an important role to play in enhancing our awareness and understanding of human creativity and its communication among peoples. His collection grew to represent this conviction.

The invention of Meissen porcelain, declared over three hundred years ago early in 1709, was a collective achievement that represents an early modern precursor to industrial chemistry and materials science. The porcelains we see in our museum collections, made in the small town of Meissen in the German States, were the result of an intense period of empirical research. Generally associated with artistic achievement of a high order, Meissen porcelain was also a technological achievement in the development of inorganic, non-metallic materials.

The cup and saucer have yellow onglaze grounds on their exteriors. German flowers (deutsche Blumen) are painted in overglaze enamel on the two white reserves on the cup and on the interior of the saucer.

European flowers began to appear on Meissen porcelain in about 1740 as the demand for Far Eastern patterns became less dominant and more high quality printed sources became available in conjunction with growing interest in the scientific study of flora and fauna. For the German flowers Meissen painters referred, among other publications, to Johann Wilhelm Weinmann’s Phytantoza Iconographia (Nuremberg 1737-1745), in which many of the plates were engraved after drawings by the outstanding botanical illustrator Georg Dionys Ehret (1708-1770). The more formally correct German flowers were superseded by mannered flowers (manier Blumen), depicted in a looser and somewhat overblown style based on the work of still-life flower painters and interior designers like Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (1636-1699) and Louis Tessier (1719?-1781), later referred to as “naturalistic” flowers.

The Meissen manufactory operated under a system of division of labor. Flower painters were paid less than workers who specialized in figures and landscapes, and most painters received pay by the piece rather than a regular wage. In the late eighteenth century flower painters were even busier and consumer taste for floral decoration on domestic “china” has endured into our own time, but with the exception of a manufactory like Meissen most floral patterns are now applied by transfers and are not hand-painted directly onto the porcelain.

On graphic sources for Meissen porcelain see Möller, K. A., “Meissen Pieces Based on Graphic Originals” in Pietsch, U., Banz, C., 2010, Triumph of the Blue Swords: Meissen Porcelain for Aristocracy and Bourgoisie 1710-1815, pp.85-93; Cassidy-Geiger, M., 1996, ‘Graphic Sources for Meissen Porcelain’ in Metropolitan Museum Journal, 31, pp.99-126.

On the painting division at Meissen see Rückert, R., 1990, Biographische Daten der Meißener Manufakturisten des 18. Jahrhunderts, pp. 134-136.

Hans Syz, J. Jefferson Miller II, Rainer Rückert, 1979, Catalogue of the Hans Syz Collection: Meissen Porcelain and Hausmalerei, pp. 366-367.

Meissen rinsing bowl (part of a service)

National Museum of American History
TITLE: Meissen: Part of a tea service

MAKER: Meissen Manufactory

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: ceramic, porcelain (overall material)

MEASUREMENTS: Teapot: H. 4¼" 10.8cm; Bowl: D. 7" 17.8cm; 2 cups: H. 2" 5.1cm; 2 saucers: D. 5¾" 14cm

OBJECT NAME: Tea service

PLACE MADE: Meissen, Saxony, Germany

DATE MADE: 1750

SUBJECT: The Hans Syz Collection

Art

Domestic Furnishing

Industry and Manufacturing

CREDIT LINE: Hans C. Syz Collection

ID NUMBER: 1989.0715.24 A,B,Cab,Dab

COLLECTOR/ DONOR: 114 A, 115 B, 116 Cab, Bab

ACCESSION NUMBER:

(DATA SOURCE: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)

MARKS: Crossed swords in underglaze blue; various impressed numbers (2,17,24).

PURCHASED FROM: Adolf Beckhardt, The Art Exchange, New York, 1942.

These parts of a tea service are from the Smithsonian’s Hans Syz Collection of Meissen Porcelain. Dr. Syz (1894-1991) began his collection in the early years of World War II, when he purchased eighteenth-century Meissen table wares from the Art Exchange run by the New York dealer Adolf Beckhardt (1889-1962). Dr. Syz, a Swiss immigrant to the United States, collected Meissen porcelain while engaged in a professional career in psychiatry and the research of human behavior. He believed that cultural artifacts have an important role to play in enhancing our awareness and understanding of human creativity and its communication among peoples. His collection grew to represent this conviction.

The invention of Meissen porcelain, declared over three hundred years ago early in 1709, was a collective achievement that represents an early modern precursor to industrial chemistry and materials science. The porcelains we see in our museum collections, made in the small town of Meissen in the German States, were the result of an intense period of empirical research. Generally associated with artistic achievement of a high order, Meissen porcelain was also a technological achievement in the development of inorganic, non-metallic materials.

These pieces from a tea service have a border of forget-me-nots in fine relief on their upper sections and are painted in overglaze enamel with naturalistic flowers.

European flowers began to appear on Meissen porcelain in about 1740 as the demand for Far Eastern patterns became less dominant and more high quality printed sources became available in conjunction with growing interest in the scientific study of flora and fauna. For the earlier style of German flowers (deutsche Blumen) the Meissen painters referred to Johann Wilhelm Weinmann’s publication, the Phytantoza Iconographia (Nuremberg 1737-1745), in which many of the plates were engraved after drawings by the outstanding botanical illustrator Georg Dionys Ehret (1708-1770). The more formally correct German flowers were superseded by mannered flowers (manier Blumen), depicted in a looser and somewhat overblown style based on the work of still-life flower painters and interior designers like Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (1636-1699) and Louis Tessier (1719?-1781), later referred to as “naturalistic” flowers.

This tea service represents a transition from the earlier to the later style bearing characteristics of both the German and naturalistic flowers and this is not uncommon for this date of manufacture.

In the eighteenth century tea, coffee, and chocolate was served in the private apartments of aristocratic women, usually in the company of other women, but often with male admirers and intimates present. In affluent middle-class households tea was served in an informal gathering in the family’s private apartments, or made available to guests following a dinner. Tea and sugar were expensive items and kept under lock and key by the mistress of the house or a housekeeper. Coffee was more popular in Germany than tea, and many services included a coffeepot and a teapot. Coffee houses were exclusively male establishments and operated as gathering places for a variety of purposes in the interests of commerce, politics, culture, and social pleasure.

On graphic sources for Meissen porcelain see Möller, K. A., “Meissen Pieces Based on Graphic Originals” in Pietsch, U., Banz, C., 2010, Triumph of the Blue Swords: Meissen Porcelain for Aristocracy and Bourgoisie 1710-1815, pp.85-93; Cassidy-Geiger, M., 1996, ‘Graphic Sources for Meissen Porcelain’ in Metropolitan Museum Journal, 31, pp.99-126.

On the history of tea and coffee consumption see Weinberg, B.A., Bealer, B.K., 2002, The World of Caffeine: The Science and Culture of the World’s Most Popular Drug. On coffee see Ukers, W. H., 1922, All About Coffee and 1935 All About Tea; on the practice of drinking tea, coffee, and chocolate see Bowman, P.B., 1995, In Praise of Hot Liquors: The Study of Chocolate, Coffee and Tea-drinking 1600-1850; On the coffee house see Ellis, M. 2011, The Coffee House: A Cultural History.

Hans Syz, J. Jefferson Miller II, Rainer Rückert, 1979, Catalogue of the Hans Syz Collection: Meissen Porcelain and Hausmalerei, pp. 382-383.

Meissen cup and saucer

National Museum of American History
TITLE: Meissen cup and saucer

MAKER: Meissen Manufactory

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: ceramic, porcelain (overall material)

MEASUREMENTS: Cup: H. 2⅝" 6.7cm; Saucer: D.5⅛" 13.1cm

OBJECT NAME: Cup and saucer

PLACE MADE: Meissen, Saxony, Germany

DATE MADE: 1735-1750

SUBJECT:

Art

Domestic Furnishing

Industry and Manufacturing

CREDIT LINE: Hans C. Syz Collection

ID NUMBER: 1983.0565.39 a,b

COLLECTOR/ DONOR: 1608

ACCESSION NUMBER:

(DATA SOURCE: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)

MARKS: Crossed swords in underglaze blue.

PROVENANCE: Dr. William P. Harbeson collection.

PURCHASED FROM: Sotheby-Parke Bernet, New York, 1972.

This cup and saucer is from the Smithsonian’s Hans Syz Collection of Meissen Porcelain. Dr. Syz (1894-1991) began his collection in the early years of World War II, when he purchased eighteenth-century Meissen table wares from the Art Exchange run by the New York dealer Adolf Beckhardt (1889-1962). Dr. Syz, a Swiss immigrant to the United States, collected Meissen porcelain while engaged in a professional career in psychiatry and the research of human behavior. He believed that cultural artifacts have an important role to play in enhancing our awareness and understanding of human creativity and its communication among peoples. His collection grew to represent this conviction.

The invention of Meissen porcelain, declared over three hundred years ago early in 1709, was a collective achievement that represents an early modern precursor to industrial chemistry and materials science. The porcelains we see in our museum collections, made in the small town of Meissen in the German States, were the result of an intense period of empirical research. Generally associated with artistic achievement of a high order, Meissen porcelain was also a technological achievement in the development of inorganic, non-metallic materials.

It was fashionable in elite and affluent eighteenth-century households to keep captive exotic birds like this large scarlet macaw, and there was an extensive market in bird species during the eighteenth century as a part of global trade. The dog, a Bolognese type spaniel, was a popular breed of the period and the Meissen sculptor Johann Joachim Kaendler (1706-1775) produced a lively model of one in 1769. The subject for the overglaze enamel painting on this cup and saucer probably came from a private commission for a dinner service and a tea and coffee service; pieces from the latter are in the porcelain collection in Dresden, and a substantial number of parts of the dinner service were in the Ole Olsen collection in Copenhagen until 1927.

The Meissen manufactory operated under a system of division of labor. Enamel painters specializing in landscapes, harbor, and river scenes with staffage (figures and animals) were paid more than those who painted flowers, fruits and underglaze blue patterns. Most painters received pay by the piece rather than a regular wage or salary. The cup has a restored silver handle.

For more examples from this service see Pietsch, U., 2010, Passion for Meissen: The Said and Roswitha Marouf Collection, p. 282: It is often assumed that items from this service were painted by a Hausmaler, but so many pieces still are extant that it was probably not the case as it was very difficult to acquire enough unpainted Meissen to paint a complete table service.

A Chinese version of the design imitating a European source is in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and can be seen at: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O185799/cup-and-saucer-unknown/

An interesting account of the animal trade is in Robbins, L. E., 2002, Elephant Slaves and Pampered Parrots: Exotic Animals in Eighteenth-Century Paris.On the painting division at Meissen see Rückert, R., 1990, Biographische Daten der Meissener Manufakturisten des 18. Jahrhunderts, pp. 134-136.Hans Syz, J. Jefferson Miller II, Rainer Rückert, 1979, Catalogue of the Hans Syz Collection: Meissen Porcelain and Hausmalerei, pp. 278-279.

Meissen plate: one of a pair

National Museum of American History
TITLE: Meissen: Pair of plates

MAKER: Meissen Manufactory

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: ceramic, porcelain (overall material)

MEASUREMENTS: D.10⅛" 25.7cm

OBJECT NAME: Plates

PLACE MADE: Meissen, Saxony, Germany

DATE MADE: 1763-1774

SUBJECT: The Hans Syz Collection

Art

Domestic Furnishing

Industry and Manufacturing

CREDIT LINE: Hans C. Syz Collection

ID NUMBER: 78.428 AB

COLLECTOR/ DONOR: 5 AB

ACCESSION NUMBER:

(DATA SOURCE: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)

MARKS: Crossed swords with dot in underglaze blue.

PURCHASED FROM: Adolf Beckhardt, The Art Exchange, New York, 1941.

These plates are from the Smithsonian’s Hans Syz Collection of Meissen Porcelain. Dr. Syz (1894-1991) began collecting in the early years of World War II, when he purchased eighteenth-century Meissen table wares from the Art Exchange run by the New York dealer Adolf Beckhardt (1889-1962). Dr. Syz, a Swiss immigrant to the United States, collected Meissen porcelain while engaged in a professional career in psychiatry and the research of human behavior. He believed that cultural artifacts have an important role to play in enhancing our awareness and understanding of human creativity and its communication among peoples. His collection grew to represent this conviction.

The invention of Meissen porcelain, declared over three hundred years ago early in 1709, was a collective achievement that represents an early modern precursor to industrial chemistry and materials science. The porcelains we see in our museum collections, made in the small town of Meissen in the German States, were the result of an intense period of empirical research. Generally associated with artistic achievement of a high order, Meissen porcelain was also a technological achievement in the development of inorganic, non-metallic materials.

The two plates with petal-shaped edges and brown rim lines have sprays of naturalistic flowers offset in their centers with scattered blooms on the rims, all painted in onglaze enamels. European flowers began to appear on Meissen porcelain in about 1740 as the demand for Far Eastern patterns became less dominant and more high quality printed sources became available in conjunction with growing interest in the scientific study of flora and fauna. For the earlier style of German flowers (deutsche Blumen) Meissen painters referred to Johann Wilhelm Weinmann’s publication, the Phytantoza Iconographia (Nuremberg 1737-1745), in which many of the plates were engraved after drawings by the outstanding botanical illustrator Georg Dionys Ehret (1708-1770). The more formally correct German flowers were superseded by mannered flowers (manier Blumen), depicted in this looser and somewhat overblown style based on the work of still-life flower painters and interior designers like Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (1636-1699) and Louis Tessier (1719?-1781), later referred to as “naturalistic” flowers.

The Meissen manufactory operated under a system of division of labor. Flower and fruit painters were paid less than workers who specialized in figures and landscapes, and most painters received pay by the piece rather than a regular wage. In the late eighteenth century flower painters were even busier and consumer taste for floral decoration on domestic “china” has endured into our own time, but with the exception of a manufactory like Meissen most floral patterns are now applied by transfers and are not hand-painted directly onto the porcelain.

On graphic sources for Meissen porcelain see Möller, K. A., “Meissen Pieces Based on Graphic Originals” in Pietsch, U., Banz, C., 2010, Triumph of the Blue Swords: Meissen Porcelain for Aristocracy and Bourgoisie 1710-1815, pp.85-93; Cassidy-Geiger, M., 1996, ‘Graphic Sources for Meissen Porcelain’ in Metropolitan Museum Journal, 31, pp.99-126.

On the painting division at Meissen see Rückert, R., 1990, Biographische Daten der Meißener Manufakturisten des 18. Jahrhunderts, pp. 134-136.

Hans Syz, J. Jefferson Miller II, Rainer Rückert, 1979, Catalogue of the Hans Syz Collection: Meissen Porcelain and Hausmalerei, pp. 398-399.

Meissen coffee pot and cover

National Museum of American History
TITLE: Meissen coffeepot

MAKER: Meissen Manufactory

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: ceramic, porcelain (overall material)

MEASUREMENTS: H. 9¼"

OBJECT NAME: Coffeepot

PLACE MADE: Meissen, Saxony, Germany

DATE MADE: 1750-1760

SUBJECT: The Hans Syz Collection

Art

Domestic Furnishing

Industry and Manufacturing

CREDIT LINE: Hans C. Syz Collection

ID NUMBER: 1992.0427.13 a,b

COLLECTOR/ DONOR: 198 a,b

ACCESSION NUMBER:

(DATA SOURCE: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)

MARKS: Crossed swords in inderglaze blue; “N” or “2” incised.

PURCHASED FROM: Adolf Beckhardt, The Art Exchange, New York, 1942.

This coffeepot is from the Smithsonian’s Hans Syz Collection of Meissen Porcelain. Dr. Syz (1894-1991) began his collection in the early years of World War II, when he purchased eighteenth-century Meissen table wares from the Art Exchange run by the New York dealer Adolf Beckhardt (1889-1962). Dr. Syz, a Swiss immigrant to the United States, collected Meissen porcelain while engaged in a professional career in psychiatry and the research of human behavior. He believed that cultural artifacts have an important role to play in enhancing our awareness and understanding of human creativity and its communication among peoples. His collection grew to represent this conviction.

The invention of Meissen porcelain, declared over three hundred years ago early in 1709, was a collective achievement that represents an early modern precursor to industrial chemistry and materials science. The porcelains we see in our museum collections, made in the small town of Meissen in the German States, were the result of an intense period of empirical research. Generally associated with artistic achievement of a high order, Meissen porcelain was also a technological achievement in the development of inorganic, non-metallic materials.

The shape of the coffeepot is based on contemporary silver models and it is painted in polychrome overglaze enamels with sprays of naturalistic flowers.

European flowers began to appear on Meissen porcelain in about 1740 as the demand for Far Eastern patterns became less dominant and more high quality printed sources became available in conjunction with growing interest in the scientific study of flora and fauna. For the earlier style of German flowers (deutsche Blumen) Meissen painters referred to Johann Wilhelm Weinmann’s publication, the Phytantoza Iconographia (Nuremberg 1737-1745), in which many of the plates were engraved after drawings by the outstanding botanical illustrator Georg Dionys Ehret (1708-1770). The German flowers were superseded by mannered flowers (manier Blumen), depicted in a looser and somewhat overblown style based on the work of still-life flower painters and interior designers like Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (1636-1699) and Louis Tessier (1719?-1781), later referred to as “naturalistic” flowers.

The Meissen manufactory operated under a system of division of labor. Flower painters were paid less than workers who specialized in figures and landscapes, and most painters received pay by the piece rather than a regular wage. In the late eighteenth century flower painters were even busier and consumer preference for floral decoration on domestic “china” has endured into our own time, but with the exception of a manufactory like Meissen most floral patterns are now applied by transfers and are not hand-painted directly onto the porcelain.

In the eighteenth century tea, coffee, and chocolate was served in the private apartments of aristocratic women, usually in the company of other women, but also with male admirers and intimates present. In affluent middle-class households tea was usually served by a senior female member of the family, often in an informal gathering in the family’s private apartments. Tea and sugar were expensive items and kept under lock and key by the mistress of the house or a housekeeper. Coffee was more popular in Germany than tea, but most services included a coffeepot and a teapot. Coffee houses were exclusively male establishments and operated as gathering places for a variety of purposes in the interests of commerce, politics, culture, and social pleasure.

On graphic sources for Meissen porcelain see Möller, K. A., “Meissen Pieces Based on Graphic Originals” in Pietsch, U., Banz, C., 2010, Triumph of the Blue Swords: Meissen Porcelain for Aristocracy and Bourgoisie 1710-1815, pp.85-93; Cassidy-Geiger, M., 1996, ‘Graphic Sources for Meissen Porcelain’ in Metropolitan Museum Journal, 31, pp.99-126.

On coffee see Ukers, W. H., 1922, All AboutCoffee; on the practice of drinking tea, coffee, and chocolate see Bowman, P.B., 1995, In Praise of Hot Liquors: The Study of Chocolate, Coffee and Tea-drinking 1600-1850; See also Weinberg, B.A., Bealer, B.K., 2002, The World of Caffeine: The Science and Culture of the World’s Most Popular Drug. On the coffee house see Ellis, M. 2011, The Coffee House: A Cultural History.

Hans Syz, J. Jefferson Miller II, Rainer Rückert, 1979, Catalogue of the Hans Syz Collection: Meissen Porcelain and Hausmalerei, pp.400-401.

Meissen teapot and cover

National Museum of American History
TITLE: Meissen: Part of a tea service

MAKER: Meissen Manufactory

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: ceramic, porcelain (overall material)

MEASUREMENTS: Teapot: H. 4¼" 10.8cm; Bowl: D. 7" 17.8cm; 2 cups: H. 2" 5.1cm; 2 saucers: D. 5¾" 14cm

OBJECT NAME: Tea service

PLACE MADE: Meissen, Saxony, Germany

DATE MADE: 1750

SUBJECT: The Hans Syz Collection

Art

Domestic Furnishing

Industry and Manufacturing

CREDIT LINE: Hans C. Syz Collection

ID NUMBER: 1989.0715.24 A,B,Cab,Dab

COLLECTOR/ DONOR: 114 A, 115 B, 116 Cab, Bab

ACCESSION NUMBER:

(DATA SOURCE: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)

MARKS: Crossed swords in underglaze blue; various impressed numbers (2,17,24).

PURCHASED FROM: Adolf Beckhardt, The Art Exchange, New York, 1942.

These parts of a tea service are from the Smithsonian’s Hans Syz Collection of Meissen Porcelain. Dr. Syz (1894-1991) began his collection in the early years of World War II, when he purchased eighteenth-century Meissen table wares from the Art Exchange run by the New York dealer Adolf Beckhardt (1889-1962). Dr. Syz, a Swiss immigrant to the United States, collected Meissen porcelain while engaged in a professional career in psychiatry and the research of human behavior. He believed that cultural artifacts have an important role to play in enhancing our awareness and understanding of human creativity and its communication among peoples. His collection grew to represent this conviction.

The invention of Meissen porcelain, declared over three hundred years ago early in 1709, was a collective achievement that represents an early modern precursor to industrial chemistry and materials science. The porcelains we see in our museum collections, made in the small town of Meissen in the German States, were the result of an intense period of empirical research. Generally associated with artistic achievement of a high order, Meissen porcelain was also a technological achievement in the development of inorganic, non-metallic materials.

These pieces from a tea service have a border of forget-me-nots in fine relief on their upper sections and are painted in overglaze enamel with naturalistic flowers.

European flowers began to appear on Meissen porcelain in about 1740 as the demand for Far Eastern patterns became less dominant and more high quality printed sources became available in conjunction with growing interest in the scientific study of flora and fauna. For the earlier style of German flowers (deutsche Blumen) the Meissen painters referred to Johann Wilhelm Weinmann’s publication, the Phytantoza Iconographia (Nuremberg 1737-1745), in which many of the plates were engraved after drawings by the outstanding botanical illustrator Georg Dionys Ehret (1708-1770). The more formally correct German flowers were superseded by mannered flowers (manier Blumen), depicted in a looser and somewhat overblown style based on the work of still-life flower painters and interior designers like Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (1636-1699) and Louis Tessier (1719?-1781), later referred to as “naturalistic” flowers.

Specialist gold painters applied ornament on the rims. This tea service represents a transition from the earlier to the later style bearing characteristics of both the German and naturalistic flowers and this is not uncommon for this date of manufacture.

In the eighteenth century tea, coffee, and chocolate was served in the private apartments of aristocratic women, usually in the company of other women, but often with male admirers and intimates present. In affluent middle-class households tea was served in an informal gathering in the family’s private apartments, or made available to guests following a dinner. Tea and sugar were expensive items and kept under lock and key by the mistress of the house or a housekeeper. Coffee was more popular in Germany than tea, and many services included a coffeepot and a teapot. Coffee houses were exclusively male establishments and operated as gathering places for a variety of purposes in the interests of commerce, politics, culture, and social pleasure.

On graphic sources for Meissen porcelain see Möller, K. A., “Meissen Pieces Based on Graphic Originals” in Pietsch, U., Banz, C., 2010, Triumph of the Blue Swords: Meissen Porcelain for Aristocracy and Bourgoisie 1710-1815, pp.85-93; Cassidy-Geiger, M., 1996, ‘Graphic Sources for Meissen Porcelain’ in Metropolitan Museum Journal, 31, pp.99-126.

On the history of tea and coffee consumption see Weinberg, B.A., Bealer, B.K., 2002, The World of Caffeine: The Science and Culture of the World’s Most Popular Drug. On coffee see Ukers, W. H., 1922, All About Coffee and 1935 All About Tea; on the practice of drinking tea, coffee, and chocolate see Bowman, P.B., 1995, In Praise of Hot Liquors: The Study of Chocolate, Coffee and Tea-drinking 1600-1850; On the coffee house see Ellis, M. 2011, The Coffee House: A Cultural History.

Hans Syz, J. Jefferson Miller II, Rainer Rückert, 1979, Catalogue of the Hans Syz Collection: Meissen Porcelain and Hausmalerei, pp. 382-383.

Meissen plate (one of a pair)

National Museum of American History
TITLE: Meissen: Pair of Plates

MAKER: Meissen Manufactory

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: ceramic, porcelain (overall material)

MEASUREMENTS: D. 9⅞" 25.1cm

OBJECT NAME: Plates

PLACE MADE: Meissen, Saxony, Germany

DATE MADE: 1750-1760

SUBJECT: The Hans Syz Collection

Art

Domestic Furnishing

Industry and Manufacturing

CREDIT LINE: Hans C. Syz Collection

ID NUMBER: 63.244. AB

COLLECTOR/ DONOR: 378 AB

ACCESSION NUMBER:

(DATA SOURCE: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)

MARKS: Crossed swords in underglaze blue; “22” impressed.

PURCHASED FROM: Arthur S. Vernay, New York, 1943.

These plates are from the Smithsonian’s Hans Syz Collection of Meissen Porcelain. Dr. Syz (1894-1991) began his collection in the early years of World War II, when he purchased eighteenth-century Meissen table wares from the Art Exchange run by the New York dealer Adolf Beckhardt (1889-1962). Dr. Syz, a Swiss immigrant to the United States, collected Meissen porcelain while engaged in a professional career in psychoanalysis and the research of human behavior. He believed that cultural artifacts have an important role to play in enhancing our awareness and understanding of human creativity and its communication among peoples. His collection grew to represent this conviction.

The invention of Meissen porcelain, declared over three hundred years ago early in 1709, was a collective achievement that represents an early modern precursor to industrial chemistry and materials science. The porcelains we see in our museum collections, made in the small town of Meissen in the German States, were the result of an intense period of empirical research. Generally associated with artistic achievement of a high order, Meissen porcelain was also a technological achievement in the development of inorganic, non-metallic materials.

Sprays of natural flowers take up the center of these plates. The reserves on the flanges frame paintings in onglaze enamel of songbirds perched on branches that were likely based on hand-colored plates from Eleazar Albin’s (1713-1759)two volume work A Natural History of Birds, first published in London in 1731, with a second edition in 1738. The Meissen manufactory had a copy of the work, one of the earliest illustrated books on birds that Albin completed with his daughter Elizabeth. Keeping caged songbirds was popular with many people across a broad spectrum of the eighteenth-century middle class and the nobility, and their decorative potential was exploited especially in wall coverings, textiles, and ceramics.

The specialist bird painters (Vogelmaler) at Meissen were low in number compared to the flower painters, but the term “color painter” (Buntmaler) was a fluid term indicating that painters moved from one category to another as demand required, especially for flower, fruit and bird subjects.

The low relief pattern on the flanges of the plates is the so-called “New Dulong” (Neu Dulong) pattern named for the Amsterdam merchant who was a dealer for Meissen. Johann Joachim Kaendler (1706-1775) recorded modeling a trial plate for a table service for Monsieur Dulong in June 1743. The process of creating shallow relief patterns was laborious and required considerable skill, and the “New Dulong” pattern was the first to break away from the formality of the basket weave designs to introduce a flowing pattern in the rococo style.

These plates belong to the same or similar pattern as the tureen, cover, and stand (ID number 1992.0427.20 abc.)

On graphic sources for Meissen porcelain see Möller, K. A., “Meissen Pieces Based on Graphic Originals” in Pietsch, U., Banz, C., 2010, Triumph of the Blue Swords: Meissen Porcelain for Aristocracy and Bourgoisie 1710-1815, pp.85-93; Cassidy-Geiger, M., 1996, ‘Graphic Sources for Meissen Porcelain’ in Metropolitan Museum Journal, 31, pp.99-126.

On relief decoration see Reinheckel, G., 1968, ‘Plastiche Dekorationsformen im Meissner Porzellan des 18 Jahrhunderts’ in Keramos, 41/42, Juli/Oktober , p. 103, 104, 77-No. 60.

On the painting division at Meissen see Rückert, R., 1990, Biographische Daten der Meißener Manufakturisten des 18. Jahrhunderts, pp. 134-136

Hans Syz, J. Jefferson Miller II, Rainer Rückert, 1979, Catalogue of the Hans Syz Collection: Meissen Porcelain and Hausmalerei, pp. 412-413.

Meissen cup and saucer

National Museum of American History
TITLE: Meissen cup and saucer

MAKER: Meissen Manufactory

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: ceramic, porcelain (overall material)

MEASUREMENTS: Cup: H. 2⅝" 6.7cm; Saucer: D. 5¼" 13.3cm

OBJECT NAME: Cup and saucer

PLACE MADE: Meissen, Saxony, Germany

DATE MADE: 1740-1750

SUBJECT: Art

Domestic Furnishing

Industry and Manufacturing

CREDIT LINE: Hans C. Syz Collection

ID NUMBER: 1984.1140.36 a,b

COLLECTOR/ DONOR: 1256 a,b

ACCESSION NUMBER:

(DATA SOURCE: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)

MARKS: Crossed swords in underglaze blue; “53 impressed on cup; “P” impressed on saucer.

PURCHASED FROM: A. Neuberger, New York, 1962.

This cup and saucer is from the Smithsonian’s Hans Syz Collection of Meissen Porcelain. Dr. Syz (1894-1991) began his collection in the early years of World War II, when he purchased eighteenth-century Meissen table wares from the Art Exchange run by the New York dealer Adolf Beckhardt (1889-1962). Dr. Syz, a Swiss immigrant to the United States, collected Meissen porcelain while engaged in a professional career in psychiatry and the research of human behavior. He believed that cultural artifacts have an important role to play in enhancing our awareness and understanding of human creativity and its communication among peoples. His collection grew to represent this conviction.

The invention of Meissen porcelain, declared over three hundred years ago early in 1709, was a collective achievement that represents an early modern precursor to industrial chemistry and materials science. The porcelains we see in our museum collections, made in the small town of Meissen in the German States, were the result of an intense period of empirical research. Generally associated with artistic achievement of a high order, Meissen porcelain was also a technological achievement in the development of inorganic, non-metallic materials.

The cup and saucer have flowering prunus in relief on their exterior surfaces, and this type of decoration revived in the 1740s, is reminiscent of the early Böttger porcelains with similar ornament based on Chinese Dehua (blanc de Chine) porcelains with the prunus branches in high relief; prototypes with this pattern were in the royal collections in Dresden and made available to Johann Friedrich Böttger as models for early Meissen porcelain. In 1745 Johann Joachim Kaendler revived some of the patterns from the first decade of Meissen’s production that were, like this pattern, particularly admired. For an example of a similar cup and saucer, but with a yellow ground, enamel-painted chinoiseries and gilding see Pietsch, U., 2011, Early Meissen Porcelain: the Wark Collection from the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, p. 450, with on p. 451 a white teapot made at about the same date with prunus blossoms in relief.

The motif of the flowering prunus came from Chinese sources where fruit trees depicted in late winter and early spring bloom symbolize resilience and rebirth after winter and are the harbingers of spring.

The manufactory employed “mechanics” (Mechaniker), men who could maintain and oversee the use of machinery for the processing of materials, but also invent tools and devices that extended and supported the skills of mold makers and turners, ensuring a standard in uniformity and quality in the production of table services in particular. Most of Meissen’s vessels were made in plaster of Paris molds rotated on a wheel with the turner (Dreher) using a template or profile to guide the shape to an even thickness so as to avoid distortion in the firing. Oval forms were made using machines designed to carry a profile that followed an eccentric movement guided by a jig. All wares were turned in rough form and the porcelain allowed to air dry until it could hold its own shape before refining the surface with iron turning tools, smoothing away blemishes with a sponge, and polishing with a small piece of ivory or horn: all these mechanical devices and tools were made in the manufactory, sometimes improved upon and made by workers themselves. (See Rückert, R., 1990, Biographische Daten der Meissener Manufakturisten des 18. Jahrhunderts, p. 100).

On blanc de Chine in the Hickley Collection, Singapore, see Kerr, R., and Ayers, J., 2002, Blanc de Chine Porcelain from Dehua, and especially the contribution by Eva Ströber, “Dehua Porcelain in the Collection of Augustus the Strong in Dresden.”

For evidence of the Meissen Manufactory’s technical workers the methods employed see Rückert, R. 1990, Biographische Daten der Meissener Manufakturisten des 18. Jahrhunderts.

Jefferson Miller II, J., Rückert, R., Syz, H., 1979, Catalogue of the Hans Syz Collection: Meissen Porcelain and Hausmalerei, pp. 220-221.

Meissen confectionary dish

National Museum of American History
TITLE: Meissen confectionary dish

MAKER: Meissen Manufactory

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: ceramic, porcelain (overall material)

MEASUREMENTS: D. 8⅞" 22.5cm

OBJECT NAME: Plate

PLACE MADE: Meissen, Saxony, Germany

DATE MADE: 1729-1731

SUBJECT: Art

Domestic Furnishing

Industry and Manufacturing

CREDIT LINE: Hans C. Syz Collection

ID NUMBER: 74.137

COLLECTOR/ DONOR: 676

ACCESSION NUMBER:

(DATA SOURCE: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)

MARKS: Crossed swords in overglaze blue; “N=69/W” engraved (Johanneum mark).

PURCHASED FROM: Hans E. Backer, London, England, 1947.

This plate is from the Smithsonian’s Hans Syz Collection of Meissen Porcelain. Dr. Syz (1894-1991) began his collection in the early years of World War II, when he purchased eighteenth-century Meissen table wares from the Art Exchange run by the New York dealer Adolf Beckhardt (1889-1962). Dr. Syz, a Swiss immigrant to the United States, collected Meissen porcelain while engaged in a professional career in psychiatry and the research of human behavior. He believed that cultural artifacts have an important role to play in enhancing our awareness and understanding of human creativity and its communication among peoples. His collection grew to represent this conviction.

The invention of Meissen porcelain, declared over three hundred years ago early in 1709, was a collective achievement that represents an early modern precursor to industrial chemistry and materials science. The porcelains we see in our museum collections, made in the small town of Meissen in the German States, were the result of an intense period of empirical research. Generally associated with artistic achievement of a high order, Meissen porcelain was also a technological achievement in the development of inorganic, non-metallic materials.

It can be assumed that this confectionary dish was copied at Meissen from a Japanese prototype in the Dresden porcelain collection. Painted in onglaze enamels it has an exotic phoenix-like bird facing a tree peony that rizes from behind a zig-zag of rice bundle fences. Recorded in the 1779 Dresden inventory of the porcelain collection are eleven items of various sizes featuring this particular “phoenix”pattern, and items with the inventory number 69 were confiscated from the property of Count Hoym who was complicit in the fraudulent acitivites of the Parisian dealer Rodolphe Lemaire. Lemaire sold Meissen imitations of Kakiemon style porcelains as original Japanese pieces, for which he could command a high price on the Parisian luxury market where Japanese porcelain was in high demand.

The mythological bird, often described as a phoenix in the West, is the Japanese hō-ō bird derived from the immortal feng-huang bird in Chinese mythology. In Far Eastern myths the bird belongs to the upper air and never alights on the surface of the earth unless an event of great significance is imminent, generally its appearance is believed to be a beneficent omen. The peony, here a tree peony, is symbolic in the Far East of wealth, high rank, and honor. The flower is also associated with female beauty and has erotic connotations in China and Japan.

Rice bundle fences occur frequently in the enamel painted porcelains from Arita that were exported to Europe and they represent a garden landscape. This ancient method of fencing still in use today takes available brushwoods that are bound to horizontal lengths of bamboo and are favored in gardens surrounding tea gardens and temples.

Kakiemon is the name given to very white (nigoshida meaning milky-white) finely potted Japanese porcelain made in the Nangawara Valley near the town of Arita in the North-West of the island of Kyushu. The porcelain bears a characteristic style of enamel painting using a palette of translucent colors painted with refined assymetric designs attributed to a family of painters with the name Kakiemon. In the 1650s, when Chinese porcelain was in short supply due to civil unrest following the fall of the Ming Dynasty to the Manchu in 1644, Arita porcelain was at first exported to Europe through the Dutch East India Company’s base on the island of Dejima in the Bay of Nagasaki. The Japanese traded Arita porcelain only with Chinese, Korean, and Dutch merchants and the Chinese resold Japanese porcelain to the Dutch in Batavia (present day Jakarta), to the English and French at the port of Canton (present day Guangzhou) and Amoy (present day Xiamen). Augustus II, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, obtained Japanese porcelain through his agents operating in Amsterdam who purchased items from Dutch merchants, and from a Dutch dealer in Dresden, Elizabeth Bassetouche.

On the Japanese Kakiemon style see Ayers, J., Impey, O., Mallet, J.V.G., 1990, Porcelain for Palaces: the fashion for Japan in Europe 1650-1750 and for an example of a Japanese dish with this pattern see p. 151; See alsoTakeshi Nagataki, 2003, Classic Japanese Porcelain: Imari and Kakiemon.

For more examples and details about this pattern see Weber, J., 2013, Meissener Porzellane mit Dekoren nach ostasiatischen Vorbildern: Stiftung Ernst Schneider in Schloss Lustheim, Band II, S. 220-226. On the Hoym-Lemaire affair see Band I of the same publication.

For an example of the pattern on a later plate see Pietsch, U., 2011, Early Meissen Porcelain: the Wark Collection from the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, p. 275.

On the impact of Chinese porcelain in a global context see Robert Finlay, 2010, The Pilgrim Art: Cultures of Porcelain in World History.

Jefferson Miller II, J., Rückert, R., Syz, H., 1979, Catalogue of the Hans Syz Collection, pp. 156-157.

Flax Cloak

NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
"KAITAKA PAEPAEROA" CLOAK WITH WIDE "TANIKO" BORDERS ON THREE SIDES (ACCORDING TO D.R. SIMMONS THIS IS AN EAST COAST BAY OF ISLANDS STYLE). THERE ARE 97 CONTINUOUS WEFT ROWS AT THE NECK, & 96 AT THE LOWER BORDER WHICH ARE 1.5 CM WIDE. THE GARMENT IS SHAPED BY INSERTS INCLUDING TWO LATERIAL WEDGE-SHAPES, AND TWO MESIAL WEDGE-SHAPED COMPOUND INSERTS. THERE ARE TWO PANELS OF DECORATION EMPLOYING RED, GREEN, AND BLUE WOOL THREAD IN SHORT LOOP ORNAMENTATION. THE "TANIKO" COLORS ARE BLACK, BROWN AND NATURAL COLORS WITH RED, ORANGE, BLUE AND GREEN WOOL COLORS ON THE TRIANGLES. THE CLOAK IS BADLY WATER STAINED. THE EXTENSIVE WATER STAINING MAY POSSIBLY BE A RESULT OF THE 1865 FIRE IN THE SMITHSONIAN CASTLE, OR PERHAPS ALSO WAS SUSTAINED FROM USE OR DURING THE OCEAN VOYAGE FROM NEW ZEALAND TO THE U.S.? HAS ORIGINAL PEALE TAGS, 526 & 529. THE CLOAK WAS EXAMINED BY MARTHA COOPER, 1967, BY D.R. SIMMONS 1974, AND DESCRIBED BY DESMOND KAHOTEA, 1984.

FROM CARD: "D. R. SIMMONS: PAEPAEROA CLOAK WITH TANIKO ON THREE SIDES (EAST COAST STYLE). DECORATIVE RED AND BLUE WOOL STITCHING IN TWO PANELS AT LEFT AND RIGHT BOTTOM, ORANGE, RED, BLUE WOOL USED IN TANIKO. WEFT LINES 1.5 CM APART WITH EIGHT VERTICAL INSERTS ON EITHER SIDE. NOV. 1974."

Peale catalogue identifies # 523 - 530 as "Blanket mats called "Kaitoke" woven by hand from thread made of the native flax (Phormium tenax)." Additional information from D.R. Simmons, Curator, Auckland Institute and Museum, Auckland, New Zealand, 1973. Simmons notes that these cloaks would more properly be called Kaitaka, i.e. flax cloaks with patterned taniko borders, because Kaitoke = earthworm.

Meissen pitcher

National Museum of American History
TITLE: Meissen pitcher with attached lid

MAKER: Meissen Manufactory

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: ceramic, porcelain (overall material)

MEASUREMENTS: H. 7" 17.8cm

OBJECT NAME: Pitcher

PLACE MADE: Meissen, Saxony, Germany

DATE MADE: 1735-1740

SUBJECT: Art

Domestic Furnishing

Industry and Manufacturing

CREDIT LINE: Hans C. Syz Collection

ID NUMBER: 71.200

COLLECTOR/ DONOR: 799

ACCESSION NUMBER:

(DATA SOURCE: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)

MARKS: Crossed swords in underglaze blue; four roundels impressed (former’s mark).

PURCHASED FROM: Adolf Beckhardt, The Art exchange, New York, 1948.

PROVENANCE: Ex Coll. Friedrich Girtanner, Zurich.

This pitcher is from the Smithsonian’s Hans Syz Collection of Meissen Porcelain. Dr. Syz (1894-1991) began his collection in the early years of World War II, when he purchased eighteenth-century Meissen table wares from the Art Exchange run by the New York dealer Adolf Beckhardt (1889-1962). Dr. Syz, a Swiss immigrant to the United States, collected Meissen porcelain while engaged in a professional career in psychiatry and the research of human behavior. He believed that cultural artifacts have an important role to play in enhancing our awareness and understanding of human creativity and its communication among peoples. His collection grew to represent this conviction.

The invention of Meissen porcelain, declared over three hundred years ago early in 1709, was a collective achievement that represents an early modern precursor to industrial chemistry and materials science. The porcelains we see in our museum collections, made in the small town of Meissen in the German States, were the result of an intense period of empirical research. Generally associated with artistic achievement of a high order, Meissen porcelain was also a technological achievement in the development of inorganic, non-metallic materials.

The pitcher with its twig handle has silver gilt mounts with a hinged thumb piece in the shape of a leaf attached to the handle. Within a purple onglaze ground there are two white reserves on each side of the pitcher that carry the quail pattern, another reserve under the spout and four small ones on the lid have onglaze enamel painted flowers in the Japanese Kakiemon style.

The Meissen painters copied the quail pattern from Japanese export porcelain in the Dresden collection of Augustus II (1670-1733), Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, who had a particular liking for Japanese porcelain in the Kakiemon style. Initially the French dealer Rodolphe Lemaire ordered the pattern from Meissen for the Parisian luxury market where he sold the items as Japanese originals in the Kakiemon style, where with high demand he could obtain a good price, especially as Japanese production declined in the 1720s. Following discovery of Lemaire’s deception in which he was aided by Count Carl Heinrich von Hoym, cabinet minister and former Saxon envoy in Paris, the pattern remained in production at Meissen and became one of the most popular imitations of Kakiemon prototypes.

In Japan the quail pattern was adapted from the school of painters associated with the master and court painter Tosa Mitsuoki (1617-1691) who was inspired by Chinese paintings of the Song Dynasty (907-1276). Pattern books based on the works of the Tosa and Kano schools were available to Japanese artisans in the mid-seventeenth century and the quail motif was in common use as an ornament for objects made in metal, lacquer, wood, and ceramics. Quail with millet and fall grasses were often depicted in paintings and on screens that referred to the beginning of the fall season with poetic associations of a melancholy nature.

On this pitcher the quail forage under a winter flowering prunus, and this version of the pattern seems to have been designed for Japan’s export market and not for the Japanese who would expect to see quail in association with fall foliage. In Europe it was at first assumed that these ground birds were partridges.

Kakiemon is the name given to very white (nigoshida meaning milky-white) finely potted Japanese porcelain made in the Nangawara Valley near the town of Arita in the North-West of the island of Kyushu. The porcelain bears a characteristic style of enamel painting using a palette of translucent colors painted with refined assymetric designs attributed to a family of painters with the name Kakiemon. In the 1650s, when Chinese porcelain was in short supply due to civil unrest following the fall of the Ming Dynasty to the Manchu in 1644, Arita porcelain was at first exported to Europe through the Dutch East India Company’s base on Deshima (or Dejima) in the Bay of Nagasaki. The Japanese traded Arita porcelain only with Chinese, Korean, and Dutch merchants through the island of Deshima, and the Chinese resold Japanese porcelain to the Dutch in Batavia (present day Jakarta), to the English and French at the port of Canton (present day Guangzhou) and Amoy (present day Xiamen). Augustus II, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, obtained Japanese porcelain through his agents operating in Amsterdam who purchased items from Dutch merchants, and from a Dutch dealer in Dresden, Elizabeth Bassetouche.

On the quail pattern see Ayers, J., Impey, O., Mallet, J.V.G., 1990, Porcelain for Palaces: the fashion for Japan in Europe 1650-1750, pp. 296-303, and Weber, J., 2013, Meissener Porzellane mit Dekoren nach ostasiatischen Vorbildern: Stiftung Ernst Schneider in Schloss Lustheim, Band II, S. 310-317. See Band I for a full discussion of the Hoym-Lemaire Affair.

On Kakiemon porcelain see Impey, O., Jörg, J. A., Mason, C., 2009, Dragons, Tigers and Bamboo: Japanese Porcelain and its Impact in Europe, the Macdonald Collection, and Takeshi Nagataki, 2003, Classic Japanese Porcelain: Imari and Kakiemon

For comparison see Pietsch, U., 2011, Early Meissen Porcelain: the Wark Collectionfrom the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, pp. 272-274; On colored grounds see Pietsch, U., Banz, C., 2010, Triumph of the Blue Swords: Meissen Porcelain for Aristocracy and Bourgoisie 1710-1815, pp. 267-274.

Jefferson Miller II, J., Rückert, R., Syz, H., 1979, Catalogue of the Hans Syz Collection: Meissen Porcelain adn Hausmalerei, pp. 138-139.

Meissen cup and saucer (part of a service)

National Museum of American History
TITLE: Meissen coffee and tea service

MAKER: Meissen Manufactory

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: ceramic, porcelain (overall material)

MEASUREMENTS: Two cups: H. 1¾" Two saucers: D. 5¼"; Coffeepot and cover: H. 9" 22.9cm; Teapot and cover: H. 4¼" 10.8cm; Milk jug and cover: H. 5½"14cm; Sugar bowl and cover: H. 4¼" 10.8cm; Bowl: H. 3½" 8.9cm

OBJECT NAME: Coffee and tea service

PLACE MADE: Meissen, Saxony, Germany

DATE MADE: 1740

SUBJECT: Art

Domestic Furnishing

Industry and Manufacturing

CREDIT LINE: Hans C. Syz Collection

ID NUMBER: Two cups and saucers 1981.0702.05; Coffee pot and cover 1981.0702.06ab; Teapot and cover 1981.0702.07ab; Milk jug and cover 1981.0702.08ab; Sugar bowl and cover 1981.0702.09ab. Rinsing bowl 1981.0702.10

COLLECTOR/ DONOR: 354;355;356;357;358;894

ACCESSION NUMBER:

(DATA SOURCE: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)

MARKS: Crossed swords in underglaze blue; “O” impressed on sugar bowl; “21” impressed on rinsing bowl.

PURCHASED FROM: Ginsburg & Levy, New York, 1943.

This cup and saucer is from a coffee and tea service in the Smithsonian’s Hans Syz Collection of Meissen Porcelain. Dr. Syz (1894-1991) began his collection in the early years of World War II, when he purchased eighteenth-century Meissen table wares from the Art Exchange run by the New York dealer Adolf Beckhardt (1889-1962). Dr. Syz, a Swiss immigrant to the United States, collected Meissen porcelain while engaged in a professional career in psychiatry and the research of human behavior. He believed that cultural artifacts have an important role to play in enhancing our awareness and understanding of human creativity and its communication among peoples. His collection grew to represent this conviction.

The invention of Meissen porcelain, declared over three hundred years ago early in 1709, was a collective achievement that represents an early modern precursor to industrial chemistry and materials science. The porcelains we see in our museum collections, made in the small town of Meissen in the German States, were the result of an intense period of empirical research. Generally associated with artistic achievement of a high order, Meissen porcelain was also a technological achievement in the development of inorganic, non-metallic materials.

The cup and saucer has large tree peony flowers distributed along rooted brown twigs with two or three upright thorny stems in blue rising behind. The brown rim lines derive from original Kakiemon pieces in which a brown pigment applied to the rims before glazing was said to give some protection against chipping. The pattern has a symmetry that is not characteristic of Japanese Kakiemon-style porcelains, but for the European market Arita painters adapted some of their patterns to suit the preference for greater symmetry and less empty space. No Japanese prototype for this onglaze enamel painted pattern has come to light and it is possible that it is an adaptation by Meissen designers based on Japanese Kakiemon-style vessels in the royal porcelain collection in Dresden.

Kakiemon is the name given to very white (nigoshida meaning milky-white) finely potted Japanese porcelain made in the Nangawara Valley near the town of Arita in the North-West of the island of Kyushu. The porcelain bears a characteristic style of enamel painting using a palette of translucent colors painted with refined assymetric designs attributed to a family of painters with the name Kakiemon. In the 1650s, when Chinese porcelain was in short supply due to civil unrest following the fall of the Ming Dynasty to the Manchu in 1644, Arita porcelain was at first exported to Europe through the Dutch East India Company’s base on Dejima in the Bay of Nagasaki.

The Japanese traded Arita porcelain only with Chinese, Korean, and Dutch merchants and the Chinese resold Japanese porcelain to the Dutch in Batavia (present day Jakarta), to the English and French at the port of Canton (present day Guangzhou) and Amoy (present day Xiamen. Augustus II, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, obtained Japanese porcelain through his agents operating in Amsterdam who purchased items from Dutch merchants there and at the annual Leipzig Fair, and from a Dutch dealer in Dresden, Elizabeth Bassetouche.

For two more examples of this pattern see Pietsch, U., 2011, Early Meissen Porcelain: the Wark Collection from the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, p.265; see also Weber, J., 2013, Meissener Porzellane mit Dekoren nach ostasiatischen Vorbildern: Stiftung Ernst Schneider in Schloss Lustheim, Band II, S. 195-198. Julia Weber identifies this pattern as one produced for the Parisian dealer Rodolphe Lemaire.

On the origins of Arita porcelains see Takashi Nagatake, 2003, Classic Japanese Porcelain: Imari and Kakiemon.

Jefferson Miller II, J., Rückert, R., Syz, H., 1979, Catalogue of the Hans Syz Collection: Meissen Porcelain and Hausmalerei, pp. 172-173.
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