Meissen teapot stand

Description
TITLE: Meissen teapot stand
MAKER: Meissen Manufactory
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: ceramic, porcelain (overall material)
MEASUREMENTS: L. 7" 17.8cm; W. 5¼" 13.3cm
OBJECT NAME: Tray
PLACE MADE: Meissen, Saxony, Germany
DATE MADE: 1740-1750
SUBJECT: Art
Domestic Furnishing
Industry and Manufacturing
CREDIT LINE: Hans C. Syz Collection
ID NUMBER: 1981.0702.4
COLLECTOR/ DONOR: 193
ACCESSION NUMBER:
(DATA SOURCE: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)
MARKS: Crossed swords in underglaze blue.
PURCHASED FROM: Adolf Beckhardt, The Art Exchange, New York, 1942.
This tray 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 Meissen teapot stand, molded after a form in silver, has a Japanese pattern in the Kakiemon style with chrysanthemums climbing from behind a brushwood fence, all painted in purple onglaze enamel with gold highlights. The pattern is more elaborate and crowded than original Kakiemon designs made in Japan, and the Meissen Manufactory adapted the Japanese originals to satisfy European tastes. The border has a honeycomb design punctuated with four floral motifs.
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.
Teapot stands protected the surface of a wooden tea table or lacquered tray from the heat of the teapot and guarded against spills from the spout. These objects are also described as spoon trays.
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; Impey, O., Jörg, J. A., Mason, C., 2009, Dragons, Tigers and Bamboo: Japanese Porcelain and its Impact in Europe, the Macdonald Collection
Takeshi Nagataki, 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. 164-165.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1740-1750
1740-1750
maker
Meissen Manufactory
place made
Deutschland: Sachsen, Meissen
Physical Description
hard-paste porcelain (overall material)
Purple enamel and gold (overall color)
Kakiemon (European) (overall style)
Measurements
overall: 5 1/4 in x 7 in; 13.335 cm x 17.78 cm
overall: 1 5/16 in x 6 7/8 in x 5 5/16 in; 3.3655 cm x 17.4625 cm x 13.5255 cm
ID Number
1981.0702.04
accession number
1981.0702
catalog number
1981.0702.04
collector/donor number
193
Credit Line
Dr. Hans Syz
subject
Manufacturing
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Ceramics and Glass
Domestic Furnishings
Art
The Hans C. Syz Collection
Meissen Porcelain: The Hans Syz Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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