Meissen tea bowl and saucer

<< >>
Description
TITLE: Meissen tea bowl and saucer
MAKER: Meissen Manufactory
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: ceramic, porcelain (overall material)
MEASUREMENTS: Tea bowl: H. 2" 5.1cm; Saucer: D. 5½" 14cm
OBJECT NAME: Tea bowl and saucer
PLACE MADE: Meissen, Saxony, Germany
DATE MADE: 1735-1740
SUBJECT: Art
Domestic Furnishing
Industry and Manufacturing
CREDIT LINE: Hans C. Syz Collection
ID NUMBER: 1984.1140.02ab
COLLECTOR/ DONOR: 100ab
ACCESSION NUMBER:
(DATA SOURCE: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)
MARKS: Crossed swords in double circle in underglaze blue; cross in a circle impressed (former’s mark).
PURCHASED FROM: Adolf Beckhardt, The Art Exchange, New York, 1941.
This tea bowl and saucer 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 lobed tea bowl and saucer follows the stylized form of the chrysanthemum and has wide bands of Japanese Imari style brocade patterns painted in underglaze blue, onglaze iron-red, and gold. Painted on the lower third of the tea bowl and the center of the saucer are sprays of flowering tree peonies. Imari was the port where the porcelain was packed and exported to the Asian mainland and to Europe via the island of Dejima in the Bay of Nagasaki, the base where Dutch, Chinese, and Korean traders were permitted to operate out of Japan.
Japanese Imari wares came from kilns near the town of Arita in the north-western region of Kyushu, Japan’s southernmost island. Decorated in the Aka-e-machi, the enameling center in Arita, Imari wares are generally distinguished from those made in the Kakiemon style by the darker palette of enamel colors and densely patterned surfaces, some of which are clearly derived from Japanese and South-East Asian textiles and known in Japan as brocade ware (nishiki-de), but there are considerable variations within this broad outline. Unlike the Kakiemon style a high proportion of Japanese Imari wares combined underglaze blue painting with overglaze enamel colors.
Original Japanese Imari collected by the European aristocracy was much admired for its opulent decorative style. The Saxon Elector and King of Poland, Augustus II, held examples in his porcelain collection at the Japanese Palace in Dresden, and the Meissen Manufactory produced designs that were very close imitations of the Japanese originals, or independent designs based on Japanese prototypes. When no longer imported to Europe imitations of the Imari style gained wider popularity later in the eighteenth century, most notably in the products of the English Worcester and Derby porcelain manufactories. Royal Crown Derby continues to produce a derivative pattern called Traditional Imari today.
On the Japanese Imari style and its influence on European porcelain manufacturers see Ayers, J., Impey, O., Mallet, J.V.G., 1990, Porcelain for Palaces: the Fashion for Japan in Europe 1650-1750.See also: Takeshi Nagataki, 2003, Classic Japanese Porcelain: Imari and Kakiemon; Rotondo-McCord, L., 1997, Imari: Japanese Porcelain for European Palaces: The Freda and Ralph Lupin Collection; Goro Shimura, 2008, The Story of Imari: the Symbols and Mysteries of Antique Japanese Porcelain
Jefferson Miller II, J., Rückert, R., Syz, H., 1979, Catalogue of the Hans Syz Collection: Meissen Porcelain and Hausmalerei, pp. 198-199.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1735-1740
1735-1740
maker
Meissen Manufactory
place made
Deutschland: Sachsen, Meissen
Physical Description
hard-paste porcelain (overall material)
underglaze blue, polychrome enamels and gold (overall color)
Imari (overall style)
Measurements
bowl: 2 in; 5.08 cm
saucer: 5 1/2 in; 13.97 cm
overall tea bowl: 2 in x 3 3/8 in; 5.08 cm x 8.5725 cm
overall saucer: 1 in x 5 1/2 in; 2.54 cm x 13.97 cm
ID Number
1984.1140.02ab
catalog number
1984.1140.02ab
accession number
1984.1140
collector/donor number
100ab
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

Comments

Add a comment about this object