A pair of tea pots in the shape of squirrels Johann Joachim Kaendler (1706 - 1775)

Model by Johann Joachim Kaendler (1706‒1775), Meissen 1735
Crossed swords mark in cobalt blue with dot pommel on the unglazed underside

H. 13.3 cm or 14.2 cm respectively


The Meissen modeller and later master modeller Johann Joachim Kaendler was not only a master of the partially life-sized animal sculptures he created primarily for Augustus the Strong
(1670‒1733), but he was also a master of creating vessels in the form of fruits, flowers, and smaller animals. This special type of design originated in China and was represented in numerous examples in the Royal porcelain collection at the Japanisches Palais in Dresden. From there, through busy copying activities, they also reached the Meissen porcelain manufactory. However, there are no Chinese examples of squirrels as teapots. Thus, this form can be regarded as an independent invention of Johann Joachim Kaendler. As with his large sculptures, the modeller portrays the two animals in their natural position, with a curly tail which also serves as a handle and is set up parallel to the round back. They each hold a hazelnut in their front paws on which they nibble. The also very naturally-coloured decoration contributes to the great vitality of the two cute little creatures, but the figures are clearly recognisable as porcelain sculptures since scrupulous attention was taken to retain sufficient white surfaces. Kaendler’s authorship of the two figures is clearly evidenced by his work report of May 1735: “made a squirrel in the shape of a tea pot with twofold snouts; in the one, someone can pour tea into the tail, in the other, however, into the ribbon decorated with bells, which is located at the neck,” [Ein Eich Hörngen in Gestalt eines Thee Krügels mit zweyerley Schnäuzen gefertiget, in daß eine gießet man oben den Thee zum Schwantze hinein, in daß andere aber zu der band Schleife Welche am Halß Bande mit Schellen befindlich] (quoted from U. Pietsch: Die Arbeitsberichte des Meissener Porzellanmodelleurs Johann Joachim Kaendler 1706‒1775, Leipzig 2002, p. 31).

REF No. 728