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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Soup plate; hard-paste porcelain, the rim with stylised lime-leaf decoration painted in underglaze blue on a white ground, the leaves in pale blue outlined in darker blue, the border with raised blue dots and irregular indentations.

  • Producer name

  • Date

    • 1903-1905 (designed)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 3.6 centimetres
    • Diameter: 24.9 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        maker's mark
      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Comment

        Factory mark of crossed swords in underglaze blue, with poorly legible impressed number.
  • Curator's comments

    Text from J. Rudoe, 'Decorative Arts 1850-1950. A catalogue of the British Museum collection'. 2nd ed. no.256.
    For a full discussion on Richard Riemerschmid see curator's comments for 'Decorative Arts 1850-1950', Cat. no. 255 (1982.0510.8).
    This soup plate is from one of two new services commissioned by Meissen between 1903 and 1905 from outside designers (the other was van de Velde; see J. Just, 'Meissener Jugendstil Porzellan', Leipzig 1983, 132, and Cat. 294-5). Reimerschmid began to design his service in the summer of 1903; the first trial pieces in porcelain were made early in 1904. In the summer of that year drawings for all pieces were complete and by November the plaster models had been made. After several modifications to both form and decoration the service was announced in October 1905 (Dresden 1989, Porzellansammlung Dresden, 'Meissener Blaumalerei aus drei Jahrhunderten', ed. K-P. Arnold and V. Diefenbach, Leipzig (exhibition also held in Hamburg, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe,. no. 294). For Riemerschmid's design for the dinner and soup plates, see Munich 1982, Munich Standtmuseum, 'Richard Riemerschmid, vom Jugendstil zum werkbund, Werke und Dokumente', exhibition catalogue, ed. W. Nerdingen, no. 383. The design is annotated 'keine grossere Regelmassigkeit. Die ausseren Punkte alle erhoht, jedoch nur so wenig, u. so sanft verlaufend, dass sich nirgends Schmutz festsetzen kann' ('not to be made more regular [this presumably refers to the indented edge]. The outer dots all raised, but only so slightly and with such a smooth run that the dirt has nowhere to settle').
    This service initially received mixed comments when it was shown at the Dresden Exhibition of 1906. It was thought heavy in form and decoration by comparison with the more delicate and traditional Meissen wares {Deutsche Kunst & Dekoration xvll, Darmstadt 1905-6, 266-7) but it had the advantage of being considerably cheaper (Kunst und Handwerk, Munich 1906-7, 95). The Meissen factory itself later complained that the designers had not understood the material: Riemerschmid's service would have been more appropriate for rustic majolica and the indenting of the edge was not well designed (K. Berling, 'Festschrift zur 200 jahrigen jubelfreier der altesten europaischen Porzellanmanufaktur Meissen 1910', Leipzig 1911, 103). This had already been noted in The Studio 40, London 1907, 57, with the frivolous comment: 'there is an unlucky slight break in the design which runs along the rims of the dishes and plates, making them look as if they were chipped to begin with. Possibly this is meant to counteract their appearance later on when they actually will have been chipped.' Nevertheless, the service received wide distribution through the Deutsche Werkbund (Jahrbuch 1915, 32) and the Dresdner Werkstatten (Just 1983, 132) and remained in production until the 1930s (Munich 1982, 317). A complete service is owned by the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory, while pieces from the service are to be found in several German collections (see Munich 1982, I. Franzke, 'Jugendstil', Badisches Landesmuseum, Karlesruhe, Bestandkatalog 1987 and H. Wichmann, 'Industrial Design, Unikate, Serienerzeugnisse. Die Neue Sammlung. Ein neuer Museumstyp des 20 Jahrhunderts', Munich 1985, 115). For further discussion, see J. Rudoe, 'Aspects of design reform in the German ceramic industry around 1900, as illustrated by the British Museum collection', Journal of the Decorative Arts Society 14, 1990, 24-33..

    Information supplementary to Rudoe 1994:
            See also M. Collins, 'Towards Post-Modernism, Design since 1851', London, British Museum, revised ed. 1994, fig. 63.


  • Bibliography

    • Rudoe 1994 256 bibliographic details
    • Rudoe 1991a 256 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number



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Object reference number: MCT2375

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