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Unique Meissen Elephant Candlestick for the Table of Count Brühl

A Masterpiece by Kaendler for the until today almost unknown first large Service of Count Brühl

Model by Johann Joachim Kaendler, June 1733
Meissen 1733, underglazed blue swords mark, 27 cm high

Provenance
Count Brühl (Legacy List of Heinrich Graf von Brühl from 1765, exhibition catalogue Swan Service 2000 p. 248 Pos. 1); Collection Joseph Epstein, Berlin (Lichthof exhibition Berlin 1904); Coll. Siegfried Ducret (1962 no. 119); then his daughter Rosmarie Schmidt-Ducret

Description


The Candlestick in form of a winged, fire-breathing dragon that rises above the pedestal formed by three elephant heads with their trunks was created by Kaendler as early as June 1733. The work record of the newly appointed model master is — as always — vividly described (Pietsch p. 19, no. 3):

“3. einen Leuchter pousirt, deßen Postament bestehet in Drey Elephanten köpffen, die Rüßel sind an Statt der Beine, Oben auf dem Postament befindet sich Ein Drache welcher sich um einen Ast windet, speyet Feuer aus und hält die Tille im Rachen.”

[“3. made a candlestick, the base of which is made of elephant’s heads, which are trunks instead of legs, on top of the base is a dragon, which winds itself around a branch, breathes fire and holds the spout in its maw.”]

The candlestick is the purest expression of Baroque delight in exotic fantasy worlds and a testimony to Johann Joachim Kaendler's creative power. It is a masterpiece within the so called “Service with Branch” [Service mit dem Aste] — the first large service made for Count Brühl, even before the Swan Service and the “Brühl'sche Allerlei”.

The Service with Branch is listed first both in Brühl's inventory of the “Conditorey” in Pförten of 1753 (cat. Swan Service p. 232) and in the legacy list of 1765 (cat. Swan Service p. 247). Despite its immense size (approx. 2,000 parts incl. the dessert service, but without the figures, see Schwarm-Tomisch in cat. Swan Service p. 130; Kunze-Köllensperger in cat. Swan Service p. 232; Weber 2013 vol. II p. 238 fn. 9), little is known about it so far.

Thanks to our Elephant Candlestick – which, on the basis of Kaendler's work record and Brühl's archive documents, we can assign without doubt to the Service with Branch – it is possible for the first time to determine, identify and – on the basis of Brühl's first order of April 1733 – to date this little-researched service.

Download complete expertise (PDF)

 

Literature


Pietsch, Ulrich: Die Arbeitsberichte des Meissner Porzellanmodelleurs Johann Joachim Kaendler 1706 – 1775. Leipzig 2002

Weber, Julia: Meißener Porzellane mit Dekoren nach ostasiatischen Vorbildern, Band I. München 2013

Weber, Julia: Meißener Porzellane mit Dekoren nach ostasiatischen Vorbildern, Band II. München 2013

Pietsch, Ulrich (Hg.): Schwanenservice: Meissener Porzellan für Heinrich Graf von Brühl (1700-1763). Leipzig 2000

Picture-gallery


Einzigartiger Meissen Elefantenleuchter für die Tafel des Grafen Brühl
Einzigartiger Meissen Elefantenleuchter für die Tafel des Grafen Brühl
Einzigartiger Meissen Elefantenleuchter für die Tafel des Grafen Brühl
Einzigartiger Meissen Elefantenleuchter für die Tafel des Grafen Brühl
Einzigartiger Meissen Elefantenleuchter für die Tafel des Grafen Brühl
Einzigartiger Meissen Elefantenleuchter für die Tafel des Grafen Brühl
  • Description

    The Candlestick in form of a winged, fire-breathing dragon that rises above the pedestal formed by three elephant heads with their trunks was created by Kaendler as early as June 1733. The work record of the newly appointed model master is — as always — vividly described (Pietsch p. 19, no. 3):

    “3. einen Leuchter pousirt, deßen Postament bestehet in Drey Elephanten köpffen, die Rüßel sind an Statt der Beine, Oben auf dem Postament befindet sich Ein Drache welcher sich um einen Ast windet, speyet Feuer aus und hält die Tille im Rachen.”

    [“3. made a candlestick, the base of which is made of elephant’s heads, which are trunks instead of legs, on top of the base is a dragon, which winds itself around a branch, breathes fire and holds the spout in its maw.”]

    The candlestick is the purest expression of Baroque delight in exotic fantasy worlds and a testimony to Johann Joachim Kaendler's creative power. It is a masterpiece within the so called “Service with Branch” [Service mit dem Aste] — the first large service made for Count Brühl, even before the Swan Service and the “Brühl'sche Allerlei”.

    The Service with Branch is listed first both in Brühl's inventory of the “Conditorey” in Pförten of 1753 (cat. Swan Service p. 232) and in the legacy list of 1765 (cat. Swan Service p. 247). Despite its immense size (approx. 2,000 parts incl. the dessert service, but without the figures, see Schwarm-Tomisch in cat. Swan Service p. 130; Kunze-Köllensperger in cat. Swan Service p. 232; Weber 2013 vol. II p. 238 fn. 9), little is known about it so far.

    Thanks to our Elephant Candlestick – which, on the basis of Kaendler's work record and Brühl's archive documents, we can assign without doubt to the Service with Branch – it is possible for the first time to determine, identify and – on the basis of Brühl's first order of April 1733 – to date this little-researched service.

    Download complete expertise (PDF)

     

  • Literature

    Pietsch, Ulrich: Die Arbeitsberichte des Meissner Porzellanmodelleurs Johann Joachim Kaendler 1706 – 1775. Leipzig 2002

    Weber, Julia: Meißener Porzellane mit Dekoren nach ostasiatischen Vorbildern, Band I. München 2013

    Weber, Julia: Meißener Porzellane mit Dekoren nach ostasiatischen Vorbildern, Band II. München 2013

    Pietsch, Ulrich (Hg.): Schwanenservice: Meissener Porzellan für Heinrich Graf von Brühl (1700-1763). Leipzig 2000

  • Picture-gallery
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