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  • Handle
    Kändler, Johann Joachim, born 1706 - died 1775
  • Enlarge image


  • Place of origin:

    Meissen (made)
    England (mounted)

  • Date:

    1736-1740 (made)
    1820-1830 (mounted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Kändler, Johann Joachim, born 1706 - died 1775 (modelled by)
    Meissen porcelain factory (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Hard-paste porcelain painted in enamels and gilded, mounted in gold

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Miss Florence Augusta Beare in memory of Arthur Doveton Clarke

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Europe 1600-1815, Room 2, The Wolfson Gallery, case CA2

Walking stick knobs and handles had been made in Meissen porcelain since production started in the 1710s. They were also made at a number of other continental European porcelain factories, including Saint-Cloud in France, Capodimonte and Doccia in Italy, and Frankenthal in Germany. They were made as gifts to be exchanged between ladies and gentlemen and were intended to express affection and esteem.

Pug dogs had been introduced into Europe from China in the late seventeenth century. They were popular in German court circles because of their loyalty, trustworthiness and steadiness, and were the favourite breed of Count Bruhl, the most powerful man in Saxony and director of the Meissen porcelain factory. Their fidelity led to their adoption as a symbol for the Freemasons' lodges that sprung up all over Europe after 1717. However, in 1738 Pope Clement XII issued a bull forbidding Catholics from becoming Freemasons, which prompted the Elector Clemens August of Cologne to found the 'Mopsorden', or Order of the Pug, two years later. An expose published in Amsterdam in 1745 confirmed the order as an organization for Roman Catholics who had been forbidden Freemasonry by the Papal bull. Unlike Masonic lodges it admitted women. Its popularity, and the dog's natural charm, prompted manufacturers of luxury goods to make a wealth of pug-themed trinkets in the 1740s.

Physical description

Cane handle of hard-paste porcelain. Tan-shaped, one hand moulded as a painted head of a mops. Mounted in gold to serve as a seal. Purple ground, with three reserves painted with harbour scenes.

Place of Origin

Meissen (made)
England (mounted)


1736-1740 (made)
1820-1830 (mounted)


Kändler, Johann Joachim, born 1706 - died 1775 (modelled by)
Meissen porcelain factory (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Hard-paste porcelain painted in enamels and gilded, mounted in gold


Length: 127 mm, Width: 25 mm, Height: 70 mm

Descriptive line

Cane handle of hard-paste porcelain painted in enamels and mounted in gold in England, 1820-1830, made by Meissen porcelain factory, Germany, 1736-1740.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

For this model and its social context see Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Triumph of the Blue Swords, 2010, cat. 448-449
For another example of this model decorated with Höroldt style chinoiseries and indianische Blumen, of ca. 1735, see Abraham L. den Blaauwen, Meissen porcelain in the Rijksmuseum, Waanders Publishers, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 2000, catalogue no. 216, p. 295.


Hard paste porcelain; Gold


Mounted; Painted; Gilded

Subjects depicted

Harbours; Pug


Porcelain; Ceramics


Ceramics Collection

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