March 14, 2012

Vienna figures.....

We have two interesting Vienna figures for our 2012 Exhibition (31st March, 2012).

This dandy is Vienna porcelain, and  relates to the earliest period of State Ownership: when the businessman Du Paquier was bankrupt, the State stepped in, with the Patronage and funds of Maria Theresia of Austria. For a brief five years, from 1744-49, they used an impressed mark:
In 'Ceremonies-Feasts-Costumes, Viennese figures during the reign of Maria Theresia' by Sladek, - p61 has a related figure with a jug. She mentions the origins being a Meissen figure (as is this one) and bears the earliest 1744-49 impressed mark, as does this one.
The enamels are of a similar mottled effect, in particular tones only seen in the pre-1750 figures. Clearly they are related, and represent a small group of rare copies of Meissen figures for the table, possibly a single table setting.
Many Vienna figures were copied from Meissen originals, but the post 1750 period leads to a majority of original, distinct designs, many by the hand of Ludwig von Lück and other sculptors with a distinct style far removed from the Meissen style. French sources become apparent, as the Vienna court strengthens its connection with the French court by the marriage of Marie Theresia's daughter, Marie Antoinette, to the future Louis XVI in 1770.
The Meissen original by J.F. Eberlein, modeled in 1748, can be seen in Adams -Meissen Figures- p170, titled Pair of Gardners and dated 1748. This very precise date, combined with the usage of the impressed Vienna mark between 1744-49, allows us to date this figure precisely to 1748-9.
 This lovely lass is most probably a representation of 'Spring'. She bears the familiar underglaze blue 'bindenschild' mark of Vienna. Sometimes this is called a 'beehive': however, that description comes from someone who was holding the piece upside down, when it does look like an old-school beehive....
It is in fact the Royal Shield of Vienna. This particular example has a workmans mark also, a Q, to be seen on the earliest pieces of the 1750's.
These interesting figures can be seen in our 2012 catalogue.... download the full PDF here,
or have a preview of a few more items here.