Peony dish, 21 x 19 cm

Peony dish, 21 x 19 cm

Ever since the 17th century, white gold® had been highly coveted by Saxon royalty as a collectible with which to show off in style. But the Prussian King Frederick the Great (1712-1786) was likewise quick to thrill to the new luxury ware, as evidenced by the "china closets" in his palaces. Passionate about porcelain as he was, he ordered numerous pieces from MEISSEN® as commander of the Prussian forces occupying Saxony during the Seven Years' War (1756-1763). This was partly because he hoped they would help him in his desire to set up a porcelain factory of his own in Berlin. Inspired by the "Brühlsches Allerlei" design, in around 1761 he also commissioned the Manufactory to produce a major tableware service comprising a total of 530 items, including 72 leaf-shaped sweetmeat dishes. The dessert dishes were to be shaped like flowers, fruit, and leaves with twig handles.
A number of such royal pieces are still extant, one being the vineleaf re-issued in last year's selection of Limited-Edition Artworks. This year's crop includes a leaf with peony flower-head that is just as unusual and rare. This item likewise makes the most exacting demands of porcelain artists. Both the flower and the leaves attached to the handle are modelled by hand with all their protruding veins and tendrils. The sense of realism is heightened by delicate colour variations from edge to centre. The softly painted peony is overlaid with tiny cornflowers. And a splendid golden carabid has strayed onto the edge of one leaf - a typical feature of porcelain painting after graphic sources by Maria Sibylla Merian of the time - that takes the magic of this masterpiece of porcelain art to new heights of perfection.

SKU: 20A684-53264-1
Weight: 480 g
Limited to 50 pieces.

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