The Collection

  - Baluster-shaped covered jar

Baluster-shaped covered jar
Böttger stoneware, Meissen, 1710–1715
Model by Johann Jacob Irminger (presumably Zurich 1635–1724 Grimma)
Silver-gilt mounts

H. 13.8 cm (5⅜ in.)
For comparison
Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Porzellansammlung (published in Boltz  2000, p.  12, fig.  4); Gotha, Schlossmuseum (published in Eberle  2011, p.  83, cat. nos. 120 and 121); Jacksonville, The Cummer Museum of Art  &  Gardens (published in Pietsch  2011, p.  70, cat. no.  11); Leipzig, Grassi Museum für Angewandte Kunst (published in Gielke  2003, p.  86, cat. no. 13).

This eight-cornered covered jar stands on a stepped foot with a silver-gilt mount and is embellished with numerous mouldings. The body is divided into two distinct sections. Above a waisted foot is the lower section, which swells upwards before receding at the shoulder to a large moulding at the piece’s widest point. The subsequent upper section takes the form of a short stepped neck and is crowned by a cone-shaped cover mounted in the same manner as the foot.

In 1725 Augustus the Strong (Dresden  1670–1733  Warsaw) had twelve cases containing around three hundred porcelain objects despatched to Vittorio Amadeo  II (Turin  1666–1732  Moncalieri; King of Sardinia 1720–1730). One of the earliest state gifts to be made up of porcelain, this generous shipment included not only pieces in the latest fashions (with chinoiserie decoration, Kauffahrtei scenes, or armorial décors) but also vessels in Böttger stoneware and Böttger porcelain that Augustus the Strong had himself selected from his own collection at the Japanese Palace in Dresden, as we know from an annotation in the palace inventory: “Left the Palace when given over into the most high hands of His Majesty in person, and afterwards presented to the King of Sardinia”. While a number of pieces from this exceptional gift have been preserved at the Palazzo Reale in Turin, a few other pieces – amongst them the present covered jar – were sold at auction by the king’s descendants in 1968.

Provenance: Royal porcelain collection of Augustus the Strong (Dresden 1670–1733 Warsaw) at the Japanese Palace in Dresden; Vittorio Amadeo II (Turin 1666–1732 Moncalieri), Duke of Savoy, King of Sicily and Sardinia; thence by inheritance Umberto II (Racconigi 1904–1983 Geneva), Duke of Savoy and King of Italy

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