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Fabulous Meissen Porcelain Group of Count Bruhl's "Tailor on a Goat"

$48,500

About

Meissen's “Count Brühl’s Tailor on a Goat,” is considered by many professionals as one of Meissen's greatest works. This marvelous figure is after the incredible Meissen designer Johann-Joachim Kaendler (Kändler), the most famous sculptor at the Meissen factory, and is of exceptional craftsmanship and design. The illustrious model is fitted with some truly unusual and breathtaking facets that demonstrate the exceptional quality and craftsmanship that Meissen is synonymous with. This is the best example of the Meissen Tailor that we have ever handled. This piece was designed in the 1730s, by Johann-Joachim Kändler, and commissioned by Count Brühl, Chief Administrator to the King. The Count was known to be the most dapper person in Saxony, the old Germany. Understandably, the Count's tailor felt as though he was equally responsible for the Count's success in his sense of style. Over time, the tailor become more vain and narcissistic, to that point that he demanded the Count speak with the King and offer him a place to dine. The Count would never make any request like that to the King, and instead thought of a solution where the tailor could be at the dinner without having to ask. The Count went to Kändler and commissioned an object that looks like the tailor. Kändler was known to have a charismatic and whimsical personality and when the Count described what he wanted, Kändler put his own flair on the piece and created an ostentatious and quite humorous model of the tailor seated on an equally stylish billy goat. All in all, the Count kept his word on getting a seat for the tailor to dine with the King, except, it was the porcelain model of the tailor who was honored with the invitation. Found underneath are the signature Meissen blue crossed swords mark used for the years 1815-1924 with "No. 107" incised. The original design of "Count Brühl’s Tailor on a Goat” is featured in Meissen Portrait Figures by Len and Yvonne Adams. The figurine is also featured in an original oil painting by Carl Wilhelm Anton Seiler named Count Brühl's Goat, found in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Germany, circa 1880 Dimensions: Height 17.13 in. Width 17 in. Depth 10 in.

Details

  • Creator
    Meissen Porcelain (Manufacturer)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 17.13 in. (43.52 cm)Width: 17 in. (43.18 cm)Depth: 10 in. (25.4 cm)
  • Style
    Other (In the Style Of)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    1880
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Seller Location
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU919517902011

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    $45 Standard Parcel Shipping
    to United States 0, arrives in 5-10 days.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: New York, NY
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 1 day of delivery.

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About the Manufacturer

Meissen Porcelain

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
4.9 / 5
Located in New York, NY
Vetted Seller
These experienced sellers undergo a comprehensive evaluation by our team of in-house experts.
Established in 1820
1stDibs seller since 2011
75 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 1 hour
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