- Museum number
Box and cover; hard-paste porcelain; moulded; painted in colours in the Japanese (Kakiemon) style; two figures and a flowering tree on the left; flowers scattered round the edge of the box and cover; maker's marks.
- Production date
- 1730 (circa)
Height: 4 centimetres
Width: 11.20 centimetres
- Curator's comments
A similar shell-shaped toilet box and cover, modelled in the form of a clam, decorated in Arita style with a dignitary and a lady with three attendants, all near a tree, 10 cm, c. 1725-30, was with Kate Foster Ltd., Sussex in the 1980s. It was from the Jack and Belle Linsky collection sold at Sotheby's, New York, 21st May 1985, lot 42a, and exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 'Masterpieces of European Porcelain', Spring 1949, no. 230.
A similar toilet service, said to be for Augustus the Strong, with comparable articles was illustrated in Robert Schmidt, 'Das Porzellan als Kunstwerk und Kulturspiegel', 1925, fig.23, and Friedrich H. Hofmann, 'Das Porzellander europaische Manufakturen', 1980, pl.480, a green ground set made for Wilhelmina Amalia von Braunschweig, widow of Emperor Joseph I and mother-in-law of Augustus III of Saxony, now in the Residenz, Munich. See also Rainer Ruckert, 'Meissener Porzellan', 1966, pl. 108, and Ruckert and Willsberger, Meissen: Porzellan des 18. Jahrhunderts, pl 92. There must have been a third set to which these boxes belong: in Dresden, the Rijksumseum, and Christie's, Geneva, 13 may, 1985, lot 188, with the Palace number.
The marks painted in black are inventory numbers of the Hofkonditorei of the Japanese Palace, Dresden. The inventory (see Boltz, 1996, p. 31) records 'Sechzehen Stück Toiletten-Schachteln, differenter Facon und Grosse'.
The shape is directly inspired by a Japanese original, and the box was once part of a toilet-set.
A comparable box was sold at Christie's Geneva, 13 May 1985, lot 188, 66,000 SFr, with minor differences to flower decoration at the front, w. 11.5cm (colour illus). This box was sold from the Johanneum, Dresden sale, Lepke, Berlin, 1920 and was then in the Erich von Goldschmidt-Rothchild collection, sold Ball and Graupe, Berlin, 25 March 1931, lot 486.
- Not on display
- Edge of cover has been repaired.
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number