Unknown Meissen porcelain proof plate with shell relief decor

Unknown Meissen porcelain proof plate with shell relief decor

Shallow plate with concentric shellwork relief decor, the well with naturalistically rendered fish and lobsters. The large segments of the border with alternating depictions of scallop shells picked out in fine copper lustre and three cowrie shells. Blue crossed swords mark, blue marks to the basal ring, dreher's mark of Johann Daniel Rehschuh. With several small restored rim chips. D 24.4 cm.
Circa 1737, the model by Johann Joachim Kaendler.

Two examples among the proof plates for the Swan Service published by Ulrich Pietsch and Melitta Kunze-Köllensperger prove that this plate without armorials may have been a piece which Kaendler presented to his patron Count Heinrich von Brühl as a design proof. Ulrich Pietsch reproduced a drawing of a plate from the kitchen of Pförten palace published by Karl Berling in 1913 that used an identical form but was painted with a large coat of arms on a bracket in the centre, similar to that used on the porcelain for Count Sulkowski. The whereabouts of this piece are currently unknown. The form design is listed in Kaendler's workshop records in an entry written during April 1736: “10. Another 4 plates shaped like shells moulded in porcelain mass” (Pietsch 2002, p. 39). Kaendler developed this form, based on the surface structure of a scallop shell, in the course of his work on the Swan Service and it eventually formed the background of the famous swan relief. Thus, the concentric shell pattern décor used in this plate must have been a prototype for the final service design. Another comparable proof plate can be found in the collection of the art dealer Elfriede Langeloh. It uses the same scallop and cowrie shell design for the border and was presumably produced in connection with the present work.


Illus. in cat.: Blütenlese. Meißener Porzellan aus der Sammlung Tono Dreßen, Munich 2018, p. 93.
Cf. cat.: Schwanenservice, Dresden-Leipzig 2000, p. 28, illus. 12 and 13.
For more on the test plates from the Swan Service, see: Kunze-Köllensperger, Neues zum Schwanenservice: Relief - Probeteller - Wappen, in: Keramos 241/242/2018, p. 53 ff., illus. 1 and 7.

Lot 639 Dα

6.000 € - 8.000 €

11.250 €