Object Place: Europe, Meissen, Germany
7.5 x 19.5 cm (2 15/16 x 7 11/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Hard-paste porcelain with colored enamel and gilded decoration
Not On View
In the form of a brightly colored cockerel, the teapot is molded in two pieces that are joined along the middle of the neck, belly, and tail. The crouching bird has an extended neck with open beak, which forms the spout. The beak is black, and the interior of the mouth is iron-red, as are the comb and wattles. The eyes are black and are rimmed in iron-red with puce lashes. Black and brown brushstrokes represent feathers on the green and yellow neck. The sides of the teapot are modeled as wings and are painted in iron-red, green, yellow, and blue, with gold delineating the shaft of the feathers. The yellow legs, with incised striations and black claws, are tucked under the bird against the body. Forming an open circle to serve as a handle, the tail rises from the upper back, bending down to join the body at the base. Clumps of feathers in iron-red, blue, puce, and green form a fluted ridge along the edge of the tail. The circular opening of the teapot is edged with gilt scrollwork, as is the edge of the round, white cover, although the two patterns do not match. The finial is modeled as a rabbit, painted in pink and brown. The cover is too large for the opening and is not original to the piece. Compare 34.1348a-b.
Kandler recorded his design of this teapot in 1734, noting with pride that the bird’s tail served as a handle that allowed the teapot to pour well. It was an improvement over the teapot at left that pours from the bird’s neck rather than its beak. Both were based on Chinese examples, though the hand-painted feathers were a German touch.
(1) on base, in underglaze blue: crossed swords
Collection of G.K. Galliers-Pratt ; Sold Sotheby Parke Bernet, London, 14 March 1967; Gift of Rita and Frits Markus to the MFA in 1983 (Accession Date: January 18, 1984)
Gift of Rita and Frits Markus