Nymphenburg porcelain dating
One is an etching by Watteau with additional engraved work by Charles Simmoneau entitled Les Habits sont italiens, in which a woman dressed as Harlequine has her left hand on her hip, while her raised proper right hand touched her cap. The second print, which is even closer in pose and spirit to the porcelain figure, is an engraving by Georg Friedrich Schmidt after Nicolas Lancret's Le Théâtre italien. While this Harlequine has no slapstick, does not make the gesture for a cuckold, and wears a mask, she exhibits the same elegant dance-like pose suggesting movement that distinguishes Bustelli's porcelain figure. Clare Le Corbeiller, "German Porcelain of the Eighteenth Century," The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 47, no. 46–47. Meredith Chilton, Harlequin Unmasked: The Commedia dell'Arte and Porcelain Sculpture (New Haven, 2001), p. cat., Baltimore Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Baltimore, 1984), pp. 2, ill. Ulrich Pietsch, Die figürliche Meissner Porzellanplastik von Gottlieb Kirchner und Johann Joachim Kaendler: Bestandskatalog der Porzellansammlung Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Munich, 2006), p. Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufactory is unique in that it manufactures its products entirely by hand.
Bustelli created sixteen Italian Comedy figures in the years 1759–60, but it is likely that his Harlequine and matching Harlequin were modeled as early as 1757, thus representing his first efforts in this genre. It may have been used for sugar, or perhaps for stewed fruit. 1771', for 'Churfürstliche Hof Zöhrgaden 1771', indicating that it was at that date held in the confectionery storeroom of items used in the service of the dessert at the Bavarian Electoral Court.Most of Bustelli's Comédie Italienne figures were created in pairs, with poses and gestures conceived as communication between the two characters, and the often somewhat exaggerated theatricality of an individual figure is explained when viewed with its mate.The extent to which Bustelli's compositions were based on prints remains the subject of debate, but two eighteenth-century prints may have influenced the pose of his Harlequine. Becker et al., Regency to Empire: French Printmaking, 1715–1814, exh.The Nymphenburg manufactory on the outskirts of Munich was founded as an Electoral Porcelain Factory by the Elector Max III Joseph of Bavaria in 1747. See Public Access Description Box and cover of hard-paste porcelain painted with enamels, moulded in relief and gilded, Nymphenburg porcelain factory, Nymphenburg, ca. V&A Ceramics and Glass Collection Object Information file Christina H. Illustrated in the Nymphenburg section, fig 5, 357p.
Commercial production of porcelain was achieved in 1754 with the help of Joseph Ringler, an 'arcanist' (workman with knowledge of porcelain recipes, firing and manufacturing processes) who had gained what had originally been Meissen's industrial secrets at the Vienna Porcelain Factory. This item is cited in the text as one of the models created by Bustelli's pupil, Peter Seefried, after his master's death in 1763, (in this case after a Meissen prototype): 'After Bustelli's death, many of his models continued in production.
Turning and casting is always done by hand and every ornament is applied individually to the final piece.
Working without templates and with great concentration the porcelain decorating artists rely on their instinctive feeling when they apply the different motifs to the glaze of the smoothly fired porcelain.
The shape is precisely copied from a Meissen porcelain covered box, modelled by Eberlein in November 1746 and made for Count Brühl's court confectionery (when it was described as 'Confect-Schaale mit Deckel in Gestalt einer Perl-Muschel zur Gräfl. A pair of identical boxes with the same date and initials were offered Sotheby's London 9 March 1954.
Brühlschen Conditorey gefertiget': information kindly communicated by Dr Alfred Ziffer). Another was formerly in the collection of Lady Charlotte Schreiber and its purchase was mentioned in her Journal for 16 November 1881. The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, Hudson Hills Press, Easthampton and New York, 2013.
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