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Meissen porcelain tureen (Stadholder Service)

Meissen porcelain tureen (Stadholder Service)

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Description
The oval tureen is part of a large table service known as the Stadholder Service after its first owner, Stadholder Willem V of the Netherlands, Prince of Orange and Nassau (1748-1806). Evidence links the service to a commission from the Dutch East India Company (Ostindianische Compagnie), and as Stadholder Willem V was chief governor of the Company, but precise details about the occasion of the gift to Willem are not known.
Johann Joachim Kaendler (1706-1775) recorded his work on modeling the lion finial in October 1772, and Johann Carl Schönheit (1730-1805) assisted him. The lion holds a sheaf of seven arrows in his right paw representing the seven provinces of the Republic of the Netherlands. The crown is a bronze mounting of a later date, and the original porcelain crown had the inscription "Ostindianische Compagnie." The service was molded in Meissen's "New Spanish" design in the rococo style, which probably dates from the 1750s, and was outmoded by the 1770s.
The entire service was painted by Meissen artists in polychrome enamels with topographical scenes of places in the Dutch Republic and the Dutch colonial port of Batavia (present day Jakarta). A significant number of the scenes depict properties connected to the Dutch East India Company. Meissen artists painted the scenes with considerable accuracy after contemporary Dutch prints made available to the painting division at the Manufactory. On the bowl of the tureen are views of Delft and Rotterdam, and on the cover views of Hoorn and Enkhuijzen. Other Meissen artists painted the floral ornaments, and yet other specialists were responsible for the cartouches and gold ornament on handles, feet, and rims.
The subject of the town of Delft was painted at meissen after a print by J.C. Philips (1742), after Cornelius Pronk, “View of the Town of Delft.” See A. L. den Blaauwen below, p. 69.
Provenance: From Meissen in Germany the Stadholder Service was sent to the Netherlands for presentation to Willem V, but when the French invaded in 1795 Willem escaped to England with his large family and took the complete dinner service with him. He did not return with it when he left England a few years later, and William Beckford of Fonthill (1760-1844) acquired the service (it is not known how), probably in the very early years of the nineteenth century. Beckford had a passion for fine and beautiful things, but his ambitious architectural project for the construction of Fonthill Abbey and his collecting activities led to financial difficulties. In 1823 the dinner service was sold at auction to a Mr. Hodges of London. In 1868 Christie’s of London sold the service in lots, and it was then dispersed widely across Europe, but it appears that the Reverend Alfred Duane Pell ((1864-1924) of New York City acquired about fifty or more pieces from the Stadholder Service, probably on one of his European tours. He brought home two tureens with lion finials, one of which is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and this one, which is in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History
On this service see Abraham. L. den Blaauwen, 1993, "The Meissen Service of Stadholder Willem V."
On William Beckford see Derek E. Ostergard et.al, 2001, "William Beckford, 1760-1844: An Eye for the Magnificent."
This oval tureen belongs to the Alfred Duane Pell collection in the National Museum of American History. Before Pell (1864-1924) became an Episcopalian clergyman quite late in life, he and his wife Cornelia Livingstone Crosby Pell (1861-1938) travelled widely, and as they travelled they collected European porcelains, silver, and furniture. Pell came from a wealthy family and he purchased the large William Pickhardt Mansion on 5th Avenue and East 74th Street in which to display his vast collection. The Smithsonian was one of several institutions to receive substantial bequests from the Reverend Pell which laid the foundation for their collections of European applied arts in the early twentieth century.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
Tureen
date made
1763-1774
1772 -1774
maker
Meissen Manufactory
Physical Description
black (cover color)
black (overall color)
blue (overall color)
polychrome (component surface decoration color name)
polychrome (overall surface decoration color name)
ceramic, porcelain, hard-paste (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 13 in x 15 3/4 in x 9 1/2 in; 33.02 cm x 40.005 cm x 24.13 cm
ID Number
CE.P-737ab
catalog number
P-737ab
accession number
225282
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Ceramics and Glass
Industry & Manufacturing
Domestic Furnishings
Art
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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