A Berlin KPM porcelain vase with a depiction of the Aldobrandini wedding, the so-called nuptial vase from the service with the iron helmet

A Berlin KPM porcelain vase with a depiction of the Aldobrandini wedding, the so-called nuptial vase from the service with the iron helmet

Unidentified model fired in two parts. The slender body similar to a lekythos on a short concave shaft supported on a square plinth. The loosely attached trumpet shaped neck decorated with a luscious floral relief and to each side a kneeling winged female genius laying down a wreath. The cylindrical body decorated with a wedding scene in biscuit porcelain on gilt ground with vermicelli décor. The lower section with gilt arabesques and baskets of fruit on matte blue ground. The interior with a biscuit porcelain rosette relief designed to imitate bronze mountings surrounding five firing holes. Blue sceptre with red dash, incised 54 and 4. H 46.2 cm.
Circa 1818.

Model maker Riese developed this form as a porcelain lamp in 1793 based on a vase shaped alabaster lamp which the Berlin Academy professor Friedrich Rehberg had sent from Rome as a study piece. The popularity of this first “Nuptial Vase” encouraged the development of this later model. The piece features a reproduction in relief of a scene from a Roman fresco of the Augustinian era which is named after its first owner, Cardinal Cinzio Passeri Aldobrandini, and has been housed in the Vatican Library since 1818.

The vase was among the table centrepieces used in the service for the Hessian Order of the Iron Helmet, the majority of which has survived in the possession of the House of Hesse. The name derives from the cross of the order, which features an applied iron knight's helmet. Prince Elector Wilhelm of Hesse is thought to have ordered the service from KPM in 1818. It was much more extensive than any of the six generals' services produced previously, as well as the service for the Duke of Wellington. It included 520 dinner plates, 300 dessert plates, as well as many other items of flatware for the various courses. Like the nuptial vase, many of the other decorative pieces from the service also featured floral swag appliques made from biscuit porcelain, for example the fruit and compote bowls.

Provenance

From a Berlin private collection.
Lempertz Cologne auction 986, 18th November 2011, lot 189.

Literature

Cf. Wittwer (ed.), Raffinesse & Eleganz, Munich 2007, illus. 137, p. 65.
A second iteration of this vase in the possession of the Hessische Hausstiftung, inv. no. FAS Pe 685/a-b (cat. Orden auf königlichem Porzellan, Petersberg 2013, no. 3.21).

Lot 40 Dα

Estimate:
25.000 € - 35.000 €

Result:
48.750 €