Contact 1stdibs
Pair of German Porcelain Vases, Meissen, circa 1745 For Sale
Want more images or videos?
Request additional images or videos from the seller
1 of 5

Pair of German Porcelain Vases, Meissen, circa 1745

About

Pair of German porcelain vases, Meissen, circa 1745.

Details

  • Dimensions
    H 8 in. x Dm 6 in.H 20.32 cm x Dm 15.24 cm
  • Diameter
    6 in. (15.24 cm)
  • Seller Location
    New York, NY
  • Seller Reference Number
    E900
  • Sold As
    Set of 2
  • Reference Number
    LU1468216279381
Buyer Protection Guaranteed
Our Promise To You: If you're not happy with the way an item arrived, we'll work with you and the seller to reach an optimal resolution. Read more

Shipping, Returns & Payment

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity

    Some items may require special handling and packaging. Request a shipping quote to see what options are available to your destination.

  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

    View details
  • Online Payment Methods
    1stdibs accepts the following payment methods
  • Item Invoice
    Generate an invoice that you can customize and print.

About Meissen Porcelain (Manufacturer)

Meissen Porcelain (Staatliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Meissen) is one of the preeminent porcelain factories in Europe and was the first to produce true porcelain outside of Asia. It was established in 1710 under the auspices of King Augustus II “the Strong” of Saxony-Poland (1670–1733), a keen collector of Asian ceramics, particularly Ming porcelain. In pursuing his passion, which he termed his “maladie de porcelaine,” Augustus spent vast sums, amassing some 20,000 pieces of Japanese and Chinese ceramics. These, along with examples of early Meissen, comprise the Porzellansammlung, or porcelain collection, of the Zwinger Palace, in Dresden.


The king was determined, however, to free the European market from its dependence on Asian imports and to give European artisans the freedom to create their own porcelain designs. To this end, he charged the scientist Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus and aspiring alchemist Johann Friedrich Böttger with the task of using local materials to produce true, hard-paste porcelain (as opposed to the soft-paste variety European ceramists in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy and Spain had been producing since the late Renaissance). In 1709, the pair succeeded in doing just that, employing kaolin, or “china clay.” A year later, the Meissen factory was born.


In its first decades, Meissen mostly looked to Asian models, producing wares based on Japanese Kakiemon ceramics and pieces with Chinese-inflected decorations, called chinoiseries. During the 1720s its painters drew inspiration from the works of Watteau, and the scenes of courtly life, fruits and flowers that adorned fashionable textiles and wallpaper. It was in this period that Meissen introduced its famous cobalt-blue crossed swords logo—derived from the arms of the Elector of Saxony as Arch-Marshal of the Holy Roman Empire—to distinguish its products from those of competing factories that were beginning to spring up around Europe.


By the 1730s, Meissen’s modelers and decorators had mastered the style of Asian ceramics, and Augustus encouraged them to develop a new, original aesthetic. The factory’s director, Count Heinrich von Brühl, used Johann Wilhelm Weinmann’s botanical drawings as the basis for a new line of wares with European-style surface decoration. The Blue Onion pattern (Zwiebelmuster), first produced in 1739, melded Asian and European influences, closely following patterns used in Chinese underglaze-blue porcelain, but replacing exotic flora and fruits with Western varieties (likely peaches and pomegranates, not onions) along with peonies and asters.


During the same period, head modeler Joachim Kändler (1706–75) began crafting delicate porcelain figures derived from the Italian commedia dell’arte. Often used as centerpieces on banquet tables and decorated to reflect the latest fashions in courtly dress for men and women, these figurines, they were popular in their day, and are still considered among of Meissen’s most iconic creations. Kändler also created the Swan Service, which, with its complex low-relief surface design and minimal decoration is considered a masterpiece of Baroque ceramics.


The rise of Neoclassicism in the latter half of the 18th century forced Meissen to change artistic direction and begin producing monumental vases, clocks, chandeliers and candelabra. In the 20th century, Meissen added to its 18th-century repertoire decidedly modern designs, including ones in the Art Nouveau style. The 1920s saw the introduction of numerous animal figures, such as the popular sea otter (Fischotter), which graced an East German postage stamp in the 1960s. Starting in 1933, artistic freedom was limited at the factory under the Nazi regime, and after World War II, when the region became part of East Germany, it struggled to reconcile its elite past with the values of the Communist government. In 1969, however, new artistic director Karl Petermann reintroduced the early designs and fostered a new degree of artistic license. Meissen became one of the few companies to prosper in East Germany.


Owned by the State of Saxony since reunification, in 1990, Meissen continues to produce its classic designs together with new ones developed collaboratively with artists from all over the world. In addition, through its artCAMPUS program, the factory has invited distinguished ceramic artists, such as Chris Antemann and Arlene Shechet, to work in its studios in collaboration with its skilled modelers and painters. The resulting works of contemporary sculpture are inspired by Meissen’s rich and complex legacy.

About the Seller

5 / 5
Vetted
Recognized
1stdibs seller since 2015
Typical response time: 1 to 2 days
Located in New York, NY
More From This Seller
Pair of Meissen Covered Potpourri Vases, circa 1745
Pair of Meissen Covered Potpourri Vases, circa ...
Antique 1740s German Vases
Porcelain
Pair of German Porcelain Covered Vases, Dresden, circa 1920
Pair of German Porcelain Covered Vases, Dresden...
Early 20th Century German Vases
Porcelain
Two Meissen Porcelain Two Handled Vases, circa 1890
Two Meissen Porcelain Two Handled Vases, circa ...
Antique 1890s German Vases
Porcelain
German Porcelain Group of Two Rabbits, Meissen, circa 1910
German Porcelain Group of Two Rabbits, Meissen,...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique Early 1900s German Animal Sculptures
Porcelain
You May Also Like
Pair of Meissen Porcelain Vases with Snake Handles
Pair of Meissen Porcelain Vases with Snake Handles
Meissen Porcelain
Antique Late 19th Century French Neoclassical Vases
Porcelain
Pair of Porcelain Meissen Cobalt Blue Vases, 1960
Pair of Porcelain Meissen Cobalt Blue Vases, 1960
Meissen Porcelain
Vintage 1960s Austrian Baroque Porcelain
Porcelain
Antique German Meissen Porcelain Figural Cherub and Rose Bud Vase, circa 1890
Antique German Meissen Porcelain Figural Cherub...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 19th Century German Victorian Vases
Porcelain
White Porcelain Vase by Meissen Porcelain
White Porcelain Vase by Meissen Porcelain
Meissen Porcelain
20th Century German Vases
Porcelain
Large 19th Century German Gilt-Trimmed Meissen Porcelain Vase
Large 19th Century German Gilt-Trimmed Meissen ...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 19th Century German Napoleon III Porcelain
Gold, Porcelain
Large Pair of Continental Meissen Style "Augustus Rex" Porcelain Vases
Large Pair of Continental Meissen Style "August...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique Late 19th Century German Vases
Porcelain
A Fine Pair of 19th Century German Meissen Porcelain Vases
A Fine Pair of 19th Century German Meissen Porc...
Antique 19th Century German Art Nouveau Porcelain
Modernist White Porcelain Meissen Vase Stamped
Modernist White Porcelain Meissen Vase Stamped
Meissen Porcelain
Vintage 1970s German Modern Vases
Porcelain

Why Shop on 1stdibs?

Learn More

Only Vetted, Professional Sellers

Buyer Protection Guaranteed

Fully Insured Global Deliveries