figure group

in the style of: Meissen porcelain factory (German, estab. 1710)

circa 1870
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Object Detail

figure group, three birds parrots on rocky outcrop, applied relief flowers and painted enamel overglaze decoration, bearing a false Meissen factory mark. Parrot is a symbol of vanity Parrots were exotic and costly luxuries in 18th century Europe. It is interesting that Marie Josephe, the wife of the Meissen factory's patron, Augustus III, King of Saxony and Poland, was depicted in an official portrait by the court painter Louis de Silvestre with a parrot pecking at fruit besides her, just above a more obvious symbol of her status, a richly jewelled crown. the famous Meissen modeller, J.J. Kändler is known to have visited the menagerie housed at the royal Saxon hunting palace of Moritzburg soon after his arrival at the porcelain factory in 1731. there he was able to copy from life the exotic creatures kept in specialised enclosures. The extensive aviaries allowed him to produce models of all kinds of parrots, parakeets and cockatoos, as well as birds of prey and game birds. In addition to making his own drawings, Kändler is known to have used prints and drawings in the factory archives and mounted specimens to help him produce his life-like models. Exotic birds and animals were admired for their rarity and beauty in 18th century Europe, but were also highly prized as symbols of wealth. Brightly coloured birds in particular were often included in murals and paintings as they were the subject of much fascination.
Maker and role
in the style of: Meissen porcelain factory (German, estab. 1710)
Production place
Meissen, Germany
Production date
circa 1870
Media description
porcelain, overglaze polychrome enamel decoration
430 x 360 x 370 mm
Measurement details
height: 430mm
width: 360mm
depth: 370mm
Credit line
Foundation Collection, 1989
Project credit line
This digital record has been made available on TJC Collection Online through a significant donation from the OPENING DOORS fund, the generous support of The Friends of The Johnston Collection, and Digitisation Champion Christine Bell
Accession number



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