THE MALCOM D. GUTTER COLLECTION OF EARLY MEISSEN PORCELAIN
EDITED BY MARIA SANTANGELO
In reviewing this book I should first like to say that I have known Malcolm for some nineteen years, usually meeting him each time he comes to London and so have been lucky to hear first hand some of the stories about how he acquired pieces for his amazing collection. The stories he so generously shares in this volume highlight what it is to be a true collector – the victories, the defeats and most importantly the ‘kismet’ when an object and collector eventually come together because that is the right outcome.
The quality of these items is remarkable and their history even more so. Malcolm explains how – on a limited budget as he is an academic – he has acquired these early Meissen pieces including those that were made for Augustus II’s Japanisches Palais in Dresden which was built to house his porcelain collections and which also included Chinese and Japanese porcelain. Malcolm has some of these too with the Japanese Palace’s inventory mark on them. It is quite possible that such pieces were the inspiration for modellers and decorators at Meissen.
It really is a “Princely” collection and devotees of Meissen should be grateful for all the studying and hard work Malcolm put into forming this remarkable collection and for his promising it to the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco. While I like porcelain I have never been particularly drawn to Meissen but this book has opened my mind to it in a way that I had not expected. That is really something for a book to achieve! So well done Malcolm in sharing your enthusiasm with a wider public and for allowing us to get a taste of what it is to be a collector of your magnitude.