Coffee Pot and Cover thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Ceramics, Room 145

Coffee Pot and Cover

ca. 1710-1713 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

The coffee pot is made in the red stoneware body that the Meissen factory produced from its foundation in 1710 until 1713, when commercial manufacture of porcelain replaced the production of stoneware. Both materials were developed by the alchemist Johann Friedrich Böttger. Imprisoned by Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, Böttger was ordered first to transmute gold, and then to make porcelain. In 1707 he succeeded in making a red stoneware similar to the Chinese redwares from Yixing, which were much sought after in Europe. The following year he became the first European to make 'true' or 'hard-paste' porcelain of the East Asian type. Most Böttger stonewares - described in factory documents as 'red porcelain' or 'Jasper porcelain' - were made in plaster moulds, often with relief decoration, as here. Many of the vessel shapes derive from European metalwork, and the design of these has traditionally been attributed to the Dresden court goldsmith Johann Jakob Irminger, who is known to have made design models in hammered copper for the factory. This coffee pot, however, has much in common with English Huguenot silver, and may combine elements from French silver prototypes with a spout and scrolled strut derived from Yixing stoneware and Chinese porcelain respectively. The mark is an inventory number for the 'Brown Saxon' wares at the 'Japanese Palace', Dresden, to which some of the factory's unsold stocks of stonewares were transferred in 1733.

Object details

Categories
Object type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Coffee Pot
  • Cover
Materials and techniques
Slip cast red stoneware
Brief description
Coffee pot and cover of slip cast red Böttger stoneware, Meissen porcelain factory, Meissen, ca. 1710-1713.
Physical description
Coffee pot and cover of slip cast red Böttger stoneware with raised decoration
Dimensions
  • Height: 16.2cm
  • Width: 13cm
  • Depth: 7.1cm
Marks and inscriptions
'132/R' (Painted in black enamel (Japanese Palace inventory number))
Credit line
From the Arthur and Hilde Weiner Collection. Accepted by HM Government in lieu of inheritance tax and allocated to the V&A, 2006
Object history
'Japanese Palace', Dresden; sold from the Royal Saxon Collections, Rudolphe Lepke, Berlin, 12 October 1920, lot 95 or 96; thence private collections by descent; accepted by H.M. Government in lieu of inheritance tax and allocated to the V&A, 2006. Formerly in the Arthur and Hilde Weiner Collection.
Subjects depicted
Summary
The coffee pot is made in the red stoneware body that the Meissen factory produced from its foundation in 1710 until 1713, when commercial manufacture of porcelain replaced the production of stoneware. Both materials were developed by the alchemist Johann Friedrich Böttger. Imprisoned by Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, Böttger was ordered first to transmute gold, and then to make porcelain. In 1707 he succeeded in making a red stoneware similar to the Chinese redwares from Yixing, which were much sought after in Europe. The following year he became the first European to make 'true' or 'hard-paste' porcelain of the East Asian type. Most Böttger stonewares - described in factory documents as 'red porcelain' or 'Jasper porcelain' - were made in plaster moulds, often with relief decoration, as here. Many of the vessel shapes derive from European metalwork, and the design of these has traditionally been attributed to the Dresden court goldsmith Johann Jakob Irminger, who is known to have made design models in hammered copper for the factory. This coffee pot, however, has much in common with English Huguenot silver, and may combine elements from French silver prototypes with a spout and scrolled strut derived from Yixing stoneware and Chinese porcelain respectively. The mark is an inventory number for the 'Brown Saxon' wares at the 'Japanese Palace', Dresden, to which some of the factory's unsold stocks of stonewares were transferred in 1733.
Bibliographic references
  • Cassidy-Geiger, Maureen, '"a wholly new style of porcelain …": Lacquer-Style Production at the Meissen Manufactory' in Cassidy-Geiger, Maureen and Letitia Roberts (eds), Schwartz Porcelain: The Lacquer Craze and its Impact on European Porcelain (Munich, 2004) pp.73-81
  • Boltz, Claus, 'Steinzeug und Porzellan der Böttgerperiode'in Keramos 167/168 (April 2000) pp.3-156
  • Snodin, Michael and Llewellyn, Nigel (eds.), Baroque 1620-1800. Style in the Age of Magnificence, exh. cat., V&A Publishing, London, 2009
Collection
Accession number
C.26:1, 2-2006

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Record createdApril 24, 2008
Record URL
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