Skip to main content
  • Want more images or videos?
    Request additional images or videos from the seller
1 of 10

Meissen Art Nouveau Group 'The Air', by Paul Helmig, Germany, Around 1910

$5,967.95

About

Very rare Meissen Porcelain group of the early 20th century: Juno, the Roman goddess of the air (Greek Hera), as a young woman with her hair pinned up, covered only with a cloth, sitting on a cloud, adorning herself with bracelets, next to her attribute, the peacock as a bird of paradise and symbol of heaven, surrounded by three Putti: one at her feet, handing her a string of pearls, the second hovering above her on a pillar of cloud, holding out a hand mirror, the third beside her with a cornucopia of flowers, handing her a blossom. The group is based on an elongated cloud base with colored floral decoration and turquoise-highlighted feather leaves and rocailles. Designer: PAUL HELMIG (1859 - 1939) The sculptor and modeller studied at the arts and crafts school in Dresden (Germany) and worked for the Meissen manufactory from 1872 to 1925. Helmig specialized in the design of groups of figures, clock cases and vessels with figures both in the Rococo style and, later, in the Art Nouveau style. Model O 199 was created in the year 1910. Manufactory: Meissen Germany Dating: made ca. 1910 Material: white porcelain, glossy finish Technique: handmade and finest hand painting Size: height: 22.0 cm / 8.66 inches width: 24.0 cm / 9.44 inches depth: 14.0 cm / 5.51 inches Marks: Blue Meissen underglaze crossed sword mark first quality model number O 199 former's number 58 painter's number 68 Bibliography: Thomas & Sabine Bergmann, Meissen Artist Figures, Model Numbers A 100 - Z 300, Erlangen Germany 2010, catalog number 333, on page 178. Condition: very good.

Details

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping

    Ships From: Vienna, Austria
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 7 days of delivery.

1stDibs Buyer Protection Guaranteed
If your item arrives not as described, we’ll work with you and the seller to make it right. Learn More

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 chinoiserie. 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 were popular in their day, and are still considered among 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.

Find a collection of authentic Meissen Porcelain on 1stDibs.

About the Seller
4.9
Located in Vienna, Austria
Gold Seller
These expertly vetted sellers are highly rated and consistently exceed customer expectations.
Established in 1988
1stDibs seller since 2013
238 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 1 hour
More From This Seller
  • Art Nouveau Group 'Mother With Child', by Paul Helmig, Meissen Germany, ca 1912
    By Meissen Porcelain, Paul Helmig
    Located in Vienna, AT
    Very rare Meissen Art Nouveau porcelain group: Mother in a dress decorated with elaborate Art Nouveau decor sitting on a fabric-covered stool and playing with her son, who is wearin...
    Category

    Vintage 1910s German Art Nouveau Porcelain

    Materials

    Porcelain

  • Art Nouveau Bowl with Nymph and Girl, by P. Helmig, Meissen Germany, ca 1910
    By Meissen Porcelain, Paul Helmig
    Located in Vienna, AT
    Exquisite Meissen Art Nouveau porcelain group: Flat oval bowl with an irregular, wavy lined and partially pierced rim, on the narrow sides two naked figures facing each other, a you...
    Category

    Vintage 1910s German Art Nouveau Porcelain

    Materials

    Porcelain

  • Meissen Allegorical Group 'The Air', by J.J. Kaendler, Germany, Around 1850
    By Meissen Porcelain, Johann Joachim Kaendler
    Located in Vienna, AT
    Very rare and Meissen porcelain group of the 19th century: Juno, the Roman goddess of the air (Greek Hera), as a young woman with blowing hair sitting on a cloud, only covered with ...
    Category

    Antique 1850s German Baroque Porcelain

    Materials

    Porcelain

  • Art Nouveau Group 'Lady Feeding a Parrot', by E. Oehler, Meissen Germany, C 1910
    By Meissen Porcelain
    Located in Vienna, AT
    Very rare Meissen Art Nouveau porcelain group: Young lady with her hair pinned up, in a white dress with embroidered borders over a flowered blouse, sitting cross-legged on an armch...
    Category

    Vintage 1910s German Art Nouveau Porcelain

    Materials

    Porcelain

  • Art Nouveau Group 'Lady With Child On The Beach', by A. Koenig, Meissen Germany
    By Meissen Porcelain
    Located in Vienna, AT
    Extremely rare Meissen Art Nouveau porcelain group: Elegant lady in a long summer dress, with a wide-brimmed feather hat and long gloves, standing slightly stooped next to a girl in...
    Category

    Vintage 1910s German Art Nouveau Porcelain

    Materials

    Porcelain

  • Meissen Rococo Group 'Love and Reward', by J.C. Schoenheit, Around 1850
    By Meissen Porcelain, Johann Carl Schoenheit
    Located in Vienna, AT
    Elaborate porcelain group of the 19th century: Young mother in elaborate Rococo clothing, seated on a magnificent Louis XVI-style armchair, resting her left foot on a low pedestal, ...
    Category

    Antique Mid-19th Century German Rococo Porcelain

    Materials

    Porcelain

You May Also Like

Antique German porcelain group of Venus with Cupid by Meissen
By Meissen Porcelain
Located in London, GB
Antique German porcelain group of Venus with Cupid by Meissen German, c. 1750 Height 20.5cm, width 11cm, depth 12cm This charming Meissen porcelain figure depicts Venus and Cupid. T...
Category

Antique Mid-18th Century German Rococo Figurative Sculptures

Materials

Porcelain

Meissen Porcelain Revelry Groups
By Meissen Porcelain
Located in New Orleans, LA
This charming pair of Meissen porcelain figures celebrates the essence of Revelry. First modeled by the renowned Johann Joachim Kändler on bases by Peter Reinicke, circa 1767, these ...
Category

Antique Late 19th Century French Rococo Figurative Sculptures

Materials

Porcelain

Porcelain Mythological Group of Triton by Meissen
By Meissen Porcelain
Located in London, GB
Porcelain mythological group of Triton by Meissen German, 19th century Measures: Height 31cm, width 27cm, depth 17cm This large and impressive Meissen porcelain group depicts a ...
Category

Antique 19th Century German Rococo Porcelain

Materials

Porcelain

Meissen Porcelain Figural Group with a Musician Playing the Drums
By Meissen Porcelain
Located in Los Angeles, CA
A lovely 19th century German Meissen porcelain figural group of a standing lady appealing to a standing gentleman and a musician sitting by their feet playing the drums. Late 19th...
Category

Antique Late 19th Century German Figurative Sculptures

Materials

Porcelain

Meissen Russian Ballerina 'Chiarina', by Paul Scheurich
By Meissen Porcelain
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
Meissen Russian Ballerina 'Chiarina', by Paul Scheurich a fine examplke of the 'Chiarina' of Russian Ballet Made during the Pfeiffer Period 1924-34 Paul Scheurich (1883-1945) P...
Category

Early 20th Century German Art Deco Porcelain

Materials

Porcelain

Meissen Porcelain Figure of German Shepherd Dog
By Meissen Porcelain
Located in New York, NY
An exquisitely crafted Meissen Porcelain figure of a German Shepherd dog from the sought after Pfeiffer Period. hand-painted underglaze in black and brown, bearing the famous blue cr...
Category

Early 20th Century German Art Nouveau Animal Sculptures

Materials

Porcelain

Meissen Porcelain Summer and Fall Figural Group
By Meissen Porcelain
Located in New Orleans, LA
This beautiful Meissen Porcelain figure entitled Summer and Fall is part of the company's beloved Seasons series. The putti rest upon a rocaille-formed base holding representations o...
Category

Antique Late 19th Century German Other Figurative Sculptures

Materials

Porcelain

Important Meissen Porcelain Groups of Caparisoned Elephants and Soldiers
By Meissen Porcelain
Located in New York, NY
An important pair of Meissen Porcelain Groups depicting "Alexander The Great Concurring India". Modeled with Alexander the great's three warriors/soldiers riding on caparisoned eleph...
Category

Antique 1880s German Rococo Porcelain

Materials

Porcelain

Fabulous Meissen Porcelain Group of Count Bruhl's "Tailor on a Goat"
By Meissen Porcelain
Located in New York, NY
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 Joh...
Category

Antique 1880s German Other Porcelain

Materials

Porcelain

German Porcelain Group of Two Rabbits, Meissen, circa 1910
By Meissen Porcelain
Located in New York, NY
Modelled by Ivar Tillberg. Crossed swords Meissen mark in underglaze blue.
Category

Antique Early 1900s German Animal Sculptures

Materials

Porcelain

Recently Viewed

View More

The 1stDibs Promise

Learn More

Expertly Vetted Sellers

Confidence at Checkout

Price-Match Guarantee

Exceptional Support

Buyer Protection

Trusted Global Delivery