Meissen stand for a tureen

Description:

TITLE: Meissen stand for a tureen

MAKER: Meissen Manufactory

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: ceramic, porcelain (overall material)

MEASUREMENTS: L. 10" 25.4cm; W. 7⅛" 18.1cm

OBJECT NAME: Stand

PLACE MADE: Meissen, Saxony, Germany

DATE MADE: 1750-1760

SUBJECT: The Hans Syz Collection

Art

Domestic Furnishing

Industry and Manufacturing

CREDIT LINE: Hans C. Syz Collection

ID NUMBER: 1989.0715.21

COLLECTOR/ DONOR: 194

ACCESSION NUMBER:

(DATA SOURCE: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center)

MARKS: Crossed swords in underglaze blue; “30” impressed.

PURCHASED FROM: Adolf Beckhardt, The Art Exchange, New York, 1942.

This 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.

Oval dishes of this shape were manufactured to hold tureens, although they could function alone as serving platters. The overglaze enamel painting represents European flowers both native and naturalized; the tulip is a wild flower of Central Asian origin cultivated in Turkey as early as 1000 AD and in Europe from the sixteenth century. European flowers began to appear on Meissen porcelain in about 1740 as the demand for Far Eastern patterns became less dominant and more high quality printed sources became available in conjunction with growing interest in the scientific study of flora and fauna. For the earlier style of German flowers (deutsche Blumen) Meissen painters referred, among other publications, to Johann Wilhelm Weinmann’s Phytantoza Iconographia (Nuremberg 1737-1745), in which many of the plates of fruits and flowers were engraved after drawings by the outstanding botanical illustrator Georg Dionys Ehret (1708-1770). German flowers were superseded by mannered flowers seen here (manier Blumen), depicted in a looser and somewhat overblown style based on the work of still-life flower painters and interior designers like Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (1636-1699) and Louis Tessier (1719?-1781) and later referred to as naturalistic flowers.

In 1728, the model maker Gottlieb Kirchner (b.1706) introduced a small device for making oval-shaped forms. Further improvements led to a more robust machine developed by the organ builder Johann Ernst Hähnel in 1740, which was granted a patent by the Saxon Elector and King of Poland, Augustus II (1670-1733)making larger scale vessels easier to model.

The Meissen manufactory operated under a system of division of labor. Flower and fruit painters were paid less than workers who specialized in figures and landscapes, and most painters received pay by the piece rather than a regular wage. Gold painting and polishing was the work of another division of specialists. In the late eighteenth century flower painters were even busier and consumer taste for floral decoration on domestic “china” has endured into our own time, but with the exception of a manufactory like Meissen most floral patterns are now applied by transfers and are not hand-painted directly onto the porcelain.

On graphic sources for Meissen porcelain see Möller, K. A., “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.85-93; Cassidy-Geiger, M., 1996, ‘Graphic Sources for Meissen Porcelain’ in Metropolitan Museum Journal, 31, pp.99-126.

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.378-379.

Date Made: ca 1750-17601750-1760

Maker: Meissen Manufactory

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: Germany: Saxony, Meissen

See more items in: Home and Community Life: Ceramics and Glass, The Hans C. Syz Collection, Meissen Porcelain: The Hans Syz Collection, Industry & Manufacturing, Art, Domestic Furnishings

Exhibition:

Exhibition Location:

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1989.0715.21Accession Number: 1989.0715Catalog Number: 1989.0715.21Collector/Donor Number: 194

Object Name: stand

Physical Description: hard-paste porcelain (overall material)polychrome enamels and gold (overall color)naturalistic flowers (overall style)Measurements: overall: 10 in x 7 1/8 in; 25.4 cm x 18.0975 cmoverall: 2 in x 10 1/16 in x 7 1/8 in; 5.08 cm x 25.55875 cm x 18.0975 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ad-bf43-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1436924

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