Tankard

German
about 1730–35
Made at Meissen Manufactory (Germany)


Object Place: Europe, Germany

Dimensions

14.7 x 12.1 cm (5 13/16 x 4 3/4 in.)

Accession Number

1983.616

Medium or Technique

Hard-paste porcelain with colored enamel and gilded decoration

On View

Charles C. Cunningham Gallery (Gallery 247)

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Porcelain

The cylindrical tankard has a simple C-shaped handle with spade-shaped terminus. In the center of the body of the tankard, opposite the handle, a bird painted in iron-red and puce sits on a rock formation painted in puce, brown, and yellow; directly behind the rock is a black-trunked tree with pendulous iron-red foliage. The immediate foreground is iron-red. Flowering branches (Indianische Blumen) in iron-red, puce, blue, yellow, gold, and green on either side of the rock formation extend toward the handle. A flying bird painted in black, iron-red, and puce and a large insect (butterfly?) in iron-red and puce are to the left and right respectively of the perched bird. Two similar insects are painted beneath the farthest blossom of each flowering branch. Encircling the top of the tankard is a band of stylized foliate motifs with gilt centers, iron-red petals, and blue and red trefoils. At the base is a diaper-patterned band in iron-red and puce, broken by halved floral motifs alternately painted in puce and blue and iron-red and blue. A spray of flowers painted in iron-red, puce, yellow, green, blue, and gold decorates the handle. The tankard has been fitted with silver mounts comprising a stepped, domed cover, a pierced oval thumbpiece, and a molded foot. A silver medal depicting Augustus II has been set into the center of the cover. It bears the following inscriptions: D.G. AVGVSTVS II. REX POLON. ELECT. SAXON. (the great Augustus II, King of Poland, Elector of Saxony) and, below the truncation of the portrait, GROSKURT (for the medallist Heinrich Peter Grosskurt, active 1694-1734). The reverse of the medal is decorated with the star and badge of the Order of the White Eagle of Poland, which are set against the back of a throne. Surrounding the throne is the inscription RESTAVRATOR ORDINIS ACQVILAE ALBAE (restoration of the Order of the White Eagle).

Markings

(1) on unglazed base, in blue enamel: crossed swords
(2) on underside of silver handle mount, struck: town mark for Dresden, date letter N for 1738, maker's mark PI over star for Paul Ingermann

Provenance

March, 1967, purchased in New York by Rita and Frits Markus, New York and Chatham, MA; 1983, gift of Rita and Frits Markus to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 18, 1984)

Credit Line

Gift of Rita and Frits Markus