A rare Wegely porcelain figure of a Chinese chef

A rare Wegely porcelain figure of a Chinese chef

Depicted in contrapposto balancing a basket of fruit on his head. Blue W mark, impressed I/90/6. One forearm restored, minimal chips and retouches, minor wear to the gilding. H 16.7 cm.
Berlin, Wilhelm Caspar Wegely manufactory, 1751 - 57.

Originally the heir to a wool factory, Wilhelm Caspar Wegely founded a porcelain manufactory in Berlin in 1751, promising Frederick II that he would produce "Meißnisches Porcellain". It is still not known for certain how he came to possess the "arcanum", as the recipe to produce porcelain was known. In order to conceal his acquaintance with the porcelain maker Johannes Benckgraff from the Höchst manufactory, a legend was invented in his family that he had learnt the techniques of porcelain production in secret whilst working for an English firm. Wegely's own manufactory existed until Autumn 1757 in the premises of the "Kommandantenhaus", built by Philipp Gerlach the Younger on Neuen Friedrichstr. 22-23. The circumstances of its closure are not known for certain, but it is thought that Wegely's fears concerning the possible rammifications of a war against Saxony could have led him to halt the production of luxury goods.


Cf.: Zick, Berliner Porzellan der Manufaktur Wilhelm Caspar Wegely, Berlin 1978, two unpainted examples listed under no. 8, one in the collection of the Märkisches Museum and another in private ownership.

Lot 37 Dα

1.000 € - 1.500 €

4.092 €