Matthew Barton – EUROPEAN & ASIAN WORKS OF ART, 25 Blythe Road, London, W14, 25 May 2016
I know that many of my readers have an interest in ceramics and I thought I would bring this rather unusual Meissen figure to your attention:
A MEISSEN MINIATURE FIGURE OF A FRIESIAN SAILOR, CIRCA 1755
probably modelled by J.J. Kändler or J.F. Eberlein, the mustachioed figure with arms akimbo and wearing a grey knitted conical hat, pink doublet, pale green full breeches and black shoes, on a shaped circular flower encrusted naturalistic base, underglaze blue crossed swords mark to rear base
This apparently unrecorded figure seems likely to be from the Meissen series of ‘Nations of the Levant’, modelled by J.J. Kaendler and J.F. Eberlein between 1748 and 1760, after prints taken from Le Hay and Ferriol’s Receuil de Cent Estampes representant Differentes Nations du Levant, published in 1712-13. Confusingly this series includes non-Levantine Bulgarian and Hungarian figures, so may have included a sailor from Friesland. See the British Museum No. 1871, 1209.2663 for a print of a ‘Matelot de Frise’, after Bernard Picart (Le Romain; 1673-1733), Amsterdam, 1728. Variant costume plates of this mustachioed Friesian sailor figure, but always in the same akimbo pose, were widely circulated in Europe right through the 18th century.