Meissen teapot stand

Description
TITLE: Meissen teapot stand
MAKER: Meissen Manufactory
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: ceramic, porcelain (overall material)
MEASUREMENTS: L. 7” 17.8cm; W. 5⅜" 13.7cm
OBJECT NAME: Oval dish
PLACE MADE: Meissen, Saxony, Germany
DATE MADE: 1740-1750
SUBJECT:
Art
Domestic Furnishing
Industry and Manufacturing
CREDIT LINE: Hans C. Syz Collection
ID NUMBER: 1987.0896.22
COLLECTOR/ DONOR: 429
ACCESSION NUMBER:
(DATA SOURCE: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)
MARKS: Crossed swords in underglaze blue; “R” in gold
PURCHASED FROM: Adolf Beckhardt, The Art Exchange, New York, 1944.
This teapot stand 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 elaborate black enamel and gold cartouche that frames the rural landscape on this piece matches a milk pot with a harbor scene on one side and a landscape with figures on the other (ID number 1987.0896.19). Both pieces have scattered German flowers and they share the same marks, so we can assume they came from the same service.
The subject of the enamel painted scene depicting a man riding through a picturesque landscape, and perhaps pausing to inquire about the surroundings from the inhabitants, occurs in several versions on Meissen services. The sources for these subjects came from the large number of prints after paintings and print series by Dutch and Flemish masters of the seventeenth century that formed a major part of Meissen’s output from the early 1730s until the 1750s, and journeys through pastoral landscapes were a common theme. The Meissen manufactory accumulated folios of prints, about six to twelve in a set, as well as illustrated books and individual prints after the work of many European artists, especially the work of Jan van Goyen (1596-1656), Jan van de Velde (1593-1641).
The Meissen manufactory operated under a system of division of labor. Enamel painters specializing in landscapes and subjects with figures were paid more than those who painted flowers, fruits and underglaze blue patterns. Most painters received pay by the piece rather than a regular wage. The gold and black scrollwork is the work of another specialist in the painting division.
On the journey theme in Dutch print series see Levesque, C., 1994, Journey through Landscape in Seventeenth-Century Holland: the Haarlem Print Series and Dutch Identity; Goddard, S. H., 1984, Sets and Series: Prints for the Low Countries.
On graphic sources for Meissen’s painters see Möller, K. A., “’…fine copper pieces for the factory…’ Meissen Pieces Based on graphic originals” in Pietsch, U., Banz, C., 2010, Triumph of the Blue Swords: Meissen Porcelain for Aristocracy and Bourgoisie 1710-1815, pp. 84-93. On the painting division at Meissen see Rückert, R., 1990, Biographische Daten der Meissener Manufakturisten des 18. Jahrhunderts, pp. 134-136.
Hans Syz, J. Jefferson Miller II, Rainer Rückert, 1979, Catalogue of the Hans Syz Collection: Meissen Porcelain and Hausmalerei, pp. 324-325.
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)
polychrome enamels and gold (overall color)
landscape with figures (overall style)
Measurements
overall: 5 3/8 in x 7 in; 13.6525 cm x 17.78 cm
overall: 1 5/16 in x 7 in x 5 3/8 in; 3.3655 cm x 17.78 cm x 13.6525 cm
ID Number
1987.0896.22
catalog number
1987.0896.22
accession number
1987.0896
collector/donor number
429
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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