A monumental Berlin KPM ormolu-mounted porcelain krater form vase with a view of Potsdam.

A monumental Berlin KPM ormolu-mounted porcelain krater form vase with a view of Potsdam.

The panorama which stretches over the entirety of the vase shows Potsdam seen from Babelsberg. Our gaze is led northwards from the Havel towards Glienicke to the Marmorpalais at Heiligensee on towards the centre of Potsdam. The base, handles and rim are richly decorated with gilt biscuit porcelain acanthus leaves. The compact body of the piece bears a finely painted portrait of a nymph, vines and flowers in grisaille on a gilt ground. Blue sceptre mark, red imperial orb mark with KPM. The handle bases reattached after breakages. Minor scratches to the gilding. H 77 cm, diameter 53 cm.
1836. The vase modelled by Johann Carl Friedrich Riese, the décor designed by Carl Gottlieb Boetticher.

Berlin KPM's later heyday was due not least to the great demand on the part of Frederick William III and his family for representative gifts, which were presented at various occasions to allied monarchs, honoured dignitaries and relatives. This auction includes several such pieces, displaying the artistic and technical prowess with which KPM sought to meet the demands of their royal patrons in the early 19th century.
The pieces produced in the 1810s and 1820s tend to be decorated with views of places and buildings illustrating the relationship between the royal family and the recipients of the gifts. Since 1836, panoramas were often used in place of the more prosaic architectural décor, especially in the most sumptuous pieces. Through the careful choice of viewpoints and perspective, the KPM painters were able to depict highly detailed city views and entire landscapes on their vases and plates. The choice of vase was of great importance in the successful depiction of such panoramas, and the Munich form proved to be one of the most well-suited designs. However, the cylindrical body and low-set handles of the Riesen vase was to become the ideal ground for the panorama painters. The design is based on a pair of vases from the Sèvres manufactory which were presented to Frederick William III as a gift by Louis-Philippe of France.
When Duke Ferdinand Philppe of Orléans (1810 - 1842) was engaged to Princess Helena of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1814 - 1858), the daughter of Frederick Ludwig of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Frederick William III carefully chose this three-piece set of vases inspired by Sévres as a gift for them on the occasion.

The great artistry of the Berlin panorama painters is perfectly demonstrated in this work. The stark elegance of the base and rosettes contrasts with and accentuates the fascinating detail of the landscape painting. The viewer's gaze is drawn into the depth of the landscape, as it invites one to circle around the depiction and lose oneself in the beauty of the Havel landscape. The view reaches across the Havel northwards over Glienicke, the Heiligensee with the Marmorpalais and towards the centre of Potsdam.


Duke Ferdinand Philippe of Orléans


Vase illus. in: Keramos 221/2013 on the cover and p. 77. The same model with a panorama of Potsdam in the Twinight Collection, described in detail in "Raffinesse & Eleganz", Munich 2007, no. 117. Here illus. on p. 70, compared to the Sevres predecessor. Illus. 78 and 79 show Boetticher’s designs for the decor from the "Ornamentbuch zum practischen Gebrauche".


Charlottenburg Palace, Berlin. Exhibition "Unbekannte Schätze aus Berliner Privatsammlungen", 19th September 2013 to 5th January 2014.

Lot 184 Dα

200.000 € - 250.000 €

254.200 €