This beautifully illustrated book presents nearly 700 pieces of Meissen porcelain dating from the first half of the 18th century.
All the pieces in this volume are drawn from the collection of Ralph H. Wark, which is one of the finest and most comprehensive holdings of early Meissen in the world. The collection includes rare pieces from the earliest years of the royal factory, which was established in 1710 by Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland.
Telling the story of Meissen from the early experiments of the alchemist Johann Friedrich Böttger in creating the recipe for white hard-paste porcelain, to commissions such as the Swan Service made for Count Heinrich von Brühl, this volume represents the most recent and significant scholarship on the collection and is published as The Cummer celebrates its fiftieth anniversary. Scholar Ulrich Pietsch recounts both the fascinating history of the foundation of the Meissen factory, as well as the surprising story of Wark’s collection and how it survived World War II in a Hamburg cellar before being shipped to America.
The volume features examples by the leading sculptors, painters and patrons of the time including a liqueur barrel and stand from 1740 by modeller Johann Joachim Kaendler, a dinner plate featuring a chinoiserie design from 1730 by Martin Schnell, and a red urn from 1715, a rare example of the experimental stoneware by Böttger. Other exceptional pieces include a set of Augustus Rex Vases, decorated by Johann Gregor Höroldt, and dating from about 1728. Also known as the Darmstädler Vases, these represent the only known complete set of miniature vases that form a garniture or mantle decoration.
Each piece is beautifully photographed, and is accompanied by a catalogue entry including comparable objects as well as detailed illustrations of the artists’ marks. The book also includes an extensive bibliography.
Dr. Ulrich Pietsch is the former director of the Porcelain Collection, State Art Collection, Dresden, Germany. He is a renowned authority on Meissen porcelain and, until his retirement as director in 2015, presided over the most important and extensive collection of Meissen porcelain in the world. He is the author of Die Figuerliche Porzellanplastik von Gottlieb Kirchner und Johann Joachim Kaendler (2006).
Table of Contents
- Introduction by Hope McMath
- Eighteenth-Century Meissen Porcelain
- Ralph Henry Wark— A Passionate Porcelain Collector
- List of Meissen painters and modelers cited