Bust of the Laughing Philosopher

about 1750
Made at Vienna Manufactory, Modeled by Johann Christoph Ludwig von Lücke (German, about 1703–1780)


Height: 34 cm (13 3/8 in.); Width 12.7 cm (5 in); Width of base: 4 in.

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Hard-paste porcelain

On View

Angelica Lloyd Russell Gallery (Gallery 142)





White, with draped shoulders, raised on high tapering rectangular plinth

In 1750, the ivory carver Ludwig Lücke came to Vienna from Meissen to work in the imperial capital as a highly paid “master modeler,” where his signature became a mark of high quality. In contrast to elaborate and flamboyant Meissen figures, Viennese figures are known for their restrained gestures and simple decoration.


Blue shield marks, no signature.


Until 1994, Mrs. D. Fischer; March 2, 1994, posthumous Fischer sale, Phillips de Pury & Co., London, lot 36, to E. & H. Manners (dealer), London, for Edward M. Pflueger (b. 1905 - d. 1997) and Kiyi Powers Pflueger (b. 1915 - d. 2008), New York; 2006, bequest of Edward M. Pflueger and gift of Kiyi Powers Pflueger to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 26, 2006)

Credit Line

Kiyi and Edward M. Pflueger Collection. Bequest of Edward M. Pflueger and Gift of Kiyi Powers Pflueger