The Collection

  - A pair of Meissen covered goblets

A pair of Meissen covered goblets
Böttger porcelain
Model, 1714-1719 by Johann Jakob Irminger
Decoration, c. 1724 by Johann Ehrenfried Stadler

No marks
H. 21 cm (8¼ in.)
This vase model with a raised foot, goblet-shaped body and slightly cambered cover was originally created by the silversmith Johann Jakob Irminger, who frequently used silver models as the basis for his creations for the Meissen manufactory. At the time when this goblet-like model was in production, the manufactory did not have a decorator working in enamel colours, so that the porcelain was either decorated with cold colours or – as in the present case – adorned with the applied sculptural ornaments known as ‘Irmingersche Belege’ or ‘Irminger’s appliques’. In this case they consist of acanthus leaves applied concentrically over the foot, around the sides and on the cover, and of a pair of mascaroons placed on either side of the cup. The cover rises over a round moulded pedestal to a ball topped with a gilded disk; the rims are also finely moulded.

Only many years later were the goblets given their colourful enamel decoration in the chinoiserie style so greatly loved at the court of Augustus the Strong (1670-1733). The court’s fondness for chinoiserie reflected its admiration for Far Eastern culture and was regarded as a sign of the court’s cosmopolitanism and openness to the wider world. The decoration between the mascaroons and on the lowest section of the cup displays several stylized exotic flowering shrubs interspersed with large and small butterflies in flight; the painting is executed in purple and iron-red supplemented with yellow and green and can be assumed to have come from the hand of the painter Johann Ehrenfried Stadler.

Goblets of this kind in a good state of preservation are few in number, whether with or without painted decoration; most of the extant examples originally formed part of Augustus the Strong’s collection and are now preserved at the Dresden Porcelain Collection.

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