Skip to main content
  • Want more images or videos?
    Request additional images or videos from the seller
1 of 11

Meissen Quatrefoil Shape Cup and Saucer with Children, circa 1745

$1,600
$2,00020% Off

About

Rare Meissen quatrefoil shape cup and saucer with elegant handle, finely painted with children in landscapes, one side of the cup with a boy showing a girl his empty grape basket, while on the other side he plays a pipe to her, his basket being full of grapes; on the saucer he leads her as she carries a basket of grapes. Blue crossed swords and gold ‘02’ mark, circa 1745.

Details

  • Creator
    Meissen Porcelain (Manufacturer)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 0.79 in. (2 cm)Diameter: 5.71 in. (14.5 cm)
  • Style
    Rococo (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
    1740-1749
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1745
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Seller Location
    Geelong, AU
  • Reference Number
    Seller: 10170471stDibs: LU125022434152

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Estimated Customs Duties & Taxes to the Continental US: $0.
    Ships From: Geelong, Australia
  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

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 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
4 / 5
Located in Geelong, Australia
Vetted Seller
These experienced sellers undergo a comprehensive evaluation by our team of in-house experts.
Established in 1958
1stDibs seller since 2015
52 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 3 hours
More From This Seller

You May Also Like

Meissen Porcelain Cup and Saucer
By Meissen Porcelain
Located in Nordhavn, DK
19th century Meissen porcelain cup and saucer. White porcelain cup and saucer beautifully decorated in blue and gold gilt. Hand painted. Small chip on the foot rim of the saucer. N...
Category

Antique 19th Century German Victorian Tea Sets

Materials

Porcelain

Meissen Porcelain Coffee Cup with Saucer
By Meissen Porcelain
Located in Vilnius, LT
Meissen Porcelain coffee cup with saucer decorated with cobalt and gold. Measures: Cup: 7.5 (H) x 10 cm Saucer: 16.5 cm.   
Category

Mid-20th Century German Porcelain

Materials

Porcelain

Meissen Pink Onion Cup and Saucer
By Meissen Porcelain
Located in Washington Crossing, PA
Meissen pink onion cup and saucer. Measures: Cup 2" x 4.5", excellent condition.
Category

Early 20th Century German Porcelain

Materials

Porcelain

Meissen Porcelain Biedermeier Cup and Saucer with Swan Handle, circa 1820
By Meissen Porcelain
Located in Washington Crossing, PA
19th century Meissen Porcelain Biedermeier cup and saucer with swan handle, circa 1820 Landscape scene. Cup diameter 6.9 cm, height 7.3 cm (measured with handle) Saucer diameter 1...
Category

Antique Early 19th Century German Porcelain

Materials

Porcelain

Meissen Green Dragon Demitasse Cup and Saucer
By Meissen Porcelain
Located in Washington Crossing, PA
Meissen porcelain green dragon cup and saucer Saucer measures 5.5 diameter.
Category

Antique Late 19th Century German Porcelain

Materials

Porcelain

19th Century Meissen Cup and Saucer
By Meissen Porcelain
Located in Washington Crossing, PA
19th century Meissen cup and saucer Floral with gold gilt accent.
Category

Antique 19th Century German Porcelain

Materials

Porcelain

19th Century Meissen Cup and Saucer
By Meissen Porcelain
Located in Washington Crossing, PA
19th century Meissen cup and saucer, saucer 2 1/2in height x 4in diameter.
Category

Antique Late 19th Century German Porcelain

Materials

Porcelain

19th Century Meissen Cup and Saucer
By Meissen Porcelain
Located in Washington Crossing, PA
19th century Meissen cup and saucer white with flowers and gold rim Cup measures H: 2 1/2" saucer measures 5 1/4" diameter.
Category

Antique 19th Century German Porcelain

Materials

Porcelain

The 1stDibs Promise

Learn More

Expertly Vetted Sellers

Confidence at Checkout

Price-Match Guarantee

Exceptional Support

Buyer Protection

Insured Global Delivery