- Museum number
Sugar bowl with lid from 'Neu Berlin' tea service; hard-paste porcelain, white with celadon- green porcelain knop and rims.
- Production date
Diameter: 8.80 centimetres
Height: 9.80 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- In set with 1982,1203.1.a-p
Text from J. Rudoe, 'Decorative Arts 1850-1950. A catalogue of the British Museum collection'. 2nd ed. no.231.
The teapot designed in 1938 as part of the 'Urbino' tea service, the other pieces designed in 1931 as part of the 'Neu Berlin' tea service.
Petri studied sculpture and painting at the Hochschule fur Billdende Kunst in her native Hamburg. From 1927 to 1929 she attended the ceramic class of the Vereinigten Staatschulen in Berlin, before her appointment in 1929 as permanent designer to the Staatliche Porzellanmanufaktur, by the new director, G. Pechmann. In 1953 she emigrated to America, but continued to design for the SPM on a freelance basis.
The tea service 'Neu Berlin' was designed in 1931 to complement Petri's 'Urbino' dinner service, also of 1931 (E. Kollmann & M. Jarchow, 'Berliner Porzellan 1763-1963', Berlin 1987, pl. 344). The 'Neu Berlin' tea service appears in the factory workbooks from December 1931 (M. Jarchow, 'Berlin Porcelain in the 20th Century', Berlin 1988, 280); it was offered in white or celadon, or white with a celadon rim (as in these examples), or with a lily pattern designed by Elsa Mockel. The use of white and celadon was inspired by Chinese porcelain, while the shape of the teapot was based on the traditional eighteenth-century shape which was still being produced by the factory as 'Alt Berlin' (for a plain white 'Alt Berlin' teaset of c.1850, see M. Jarchow, 'Die Staatliche Porzellanmanufaktur Berlin (KPM) 1918-1938, Institution und Produktion', PhD dissertation, Hamburg 1984, pl. 8). The outline of the pot was virtually the same, but the handle and spout were streamlined by being stripped of rococo relief ornament (Jarchow 1984, 46-7; Kollmann & Jarchow, 1987, pl. 503). For an example of an eighteenth-century teapot of this form, see Kollman & Jarchow, 1987, pls 390-91.
The 'Neu Berlin' tea service was produced for only a few years and was replaced by the 'Urbino' tea service of 1938. The plates from the 'Neu Berlin' service were used for the 'Urbino' service, but the shape of the 'Urbino' teapot was modified; the 'Neu Berlin' teapot has slightly higher shoulders and straighter sides. After the war further modifications were made because the 'Urbino' moulds were destroyed; the service was reconstructed by Petri and a variety of patterns were used in the postwar years (e.g. Jarchow 1988, 56, 154).
The 'Urbino' dinner service was a huge success in the 1930s, winning the highest accolade of a Grand Prix at the Milan Triennale in 1936 and a gold medal at Paris in 1937. The dinner and tea services are still in production. The only other German 1930s service to have continued in production to the present day is Hermann Gretsch's 'Arzberg 1382' (see 'Decorative Arts 1850-1950', Cat. 119).
Information supplementary to Rudoe 1991/1994:
The celadon rims are coloured in the porcelain body, not painted. These coloured rims with their seamless join, were developed by the Berlin factory around 1930 to protect the edges from chipping (see K.H. Bröhan, D. Högermann and R. Niggl, 'Porzellan. Kunst und Design 1889 bis 1939. Vom Jugendstil zum Funktionalismus', Bröhan Museum Berlin, 1993, cat. 250, p. 258).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
Exhibited: BM, 20th-century gallery, 1994-2006
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number