Meissen Porcelain Ogival Quatrefoil Bowl from the 'Christie-Miller Service'
Circa 1740, blue crossed swords mark
The exterior painted with a continuous scene of a hawking party on horseback and on foot gathering beside a statue, the obverse with a hunting party gathering by an urn, both with a detailed riverside view of a distant town or village, above a broad gilt diaper trellis reserved with four purpur-Malerei equestrian or quayside scenes, the interior with a bouquet of deutsche-Blumen, within a border of gilt ombrierte shells and interlocking scrolls and foliage reserved with four polychrome quatrefoil panels of landscapes and harbor scenes, shaped gilt line rim.
Height 3 3/8 inches, diameter 9 5/8 inches.
Samuel R. Christie-Miller Collection.
Sotheby's, London, 7 July 1970, lot 23.
Though arguably of the highest quality, the original commission and provenance of this service is still obscure. By tradition pieces of the service were in the possession of the Christie-Miller family as early as the 1840's and by association it has taken their name. The family history holds that their selection was acquired from the noble Orleans family of Paris. Although still unconfirmed, leading scholar have suggested that the service may have been a gift from Augustus III to the French Court. This supposition is supported by the quality of the decoration, executed by the factory's leading painters including Christian Friedrich Herold, and Bonaventura Gottlieb Häuer and Georg Heintze, and by the timing of the marriage of the Dauphin to Augustus's daughter in 1747. 72 pieces were published by Sotheby's & Co. in 1970s when the Estate of the late Samuel R. Christie-Miller came to auction in London. At that time two other pieces were known. See the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, for a plate, no. 1976-1855, published in 1934 by W.B. Honey, Dresden China, pl. XXIVb; and the dish in the Museum für Kunst und Gewerber, Hamburg, published by Zimmermann in Meissner Porzellan, p. 156, fig. 46.
Many of the views depicted on this service are based on engravings first published in 1679 by the Augsburg printmaker Melchior Küsel after works by Johann Wilhelm Baur and other artists . The Italian and German castles, harbors, and landscapes are a mixture of accurate topography and imagination.
The present bowl is one of eight or nine recorded. Four bowls were sold by Sotheby's, London on 7 July 1970; two more by Sotheby's, London on 8 December 1970, of which one is now in the Arnhold Collection, see M. Cassidy-Geiger, The Arnhold Collection of Meissen Porcelain 1710-50, p. 430, no. 180, now Frick Collection, New York, accession number: 2019.9.25. The seventh is in the Hermitage, St. Petersburg; the eighth was published as part of the Anderson Collection and most recently sold, Christie's, London, 12 May 2010, lot 88; and the potential ninth from the Collection formed by C.W. Harris, Esq. sold, Christie's, London, 12 June 1995, lot 231.
C Estate of Sarah Belk Gambrell
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