Figure of an Arara

about 1731
Artist Johann Joachim Kändler (German, 1706–1775), Made by Meissen Manufactory (Germany)

Object Place: Meissen, Germany


Overall (height with base): 99.1 cm (39 in.) Weight: 55 lb. (24.95 kg)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Hard-paste porcelain

On View

Angelica Lloyd Russell Gallery (Gallery 142)





A life-size figure of an arara (a parrot) in glazed white porcelain, 39” high, naturalistically modeled, perched on a tree stump base. The tail is a modern replacement, based on a casting taken from the example in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.


Between 1730 and 1736, commissioned by Augustus II (b. 1670 – d. 1733), King of Poland and Elector of Saxony, and his successor, Augustus III (b. 1696 – d. 1763), King of Poland and Elector of Saxony, for the Japanese Palace in Dresden [see note 1]. By 1962, James A. Lewis & Son, New York; sold by Lewis to Edulji Dinshaw (b. 1916 - d. 1970), New York; December 8, 1962, Dinshaw sale, Parke-Bernet, New York, lot 37, for $7000. By 1993, Edward M. Pflueger (b. 1905 - d. 1997) and Kiyi Powers Pflueger (b. 1915 - d. 2008), New York; 2000, bequest of Edward M. Pflueger and gift of Kiyi Powers Pflueger to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 20, 2000)

[1] Augustus II (“the Strong”) began building the Japanese Palace in Dresden in 1725 and commissioned more than 35,000 porcelain works from the nearby Meissen porcelain manufactory to furnish his "porcelain palace." The original collection featured more than 500 large bird and animal figures; among these were 37 animal species and 32 bird species. Augustus II died in 1733 and his son Augustus III took over the project. The Japanese Palace became a museum and library after the death of Augustus III, and parts of the collection were sold and traded in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Credit Line

Kiyi and Edward M. Pflueger Collection. Bequest of Edward M. Pflueger and Gift of Kiyi Powers Pflueger, Frank B. Bemis Fund, William Francis Warden Fund, John H. and Ernestine A. Payne Fund, and Frederick L. Jack Fund