MEISSEN ARMORIAL TUREEN
Hard Paste Porcelain
Height: 11 in.
Width: 11 in.
Marks: crossed swords in underglaze blue on base; impressed ‘21’
The service was ordered in January 1740
Very fine and rare tureen of high rounded shape with a slightly domed lid having a pineapple knob. On either side elegant S-shaped handles embellished with a lady's head wearing a gold tiara and necklace. The front of the tureen is decorated with a large coat of arms. Around the sides and on the lid are flowers and insects painted in the Kakiemon manner in shades of iron-red, yellow, blue and green, highlighted in gold; with a brown edging around the scalloped lid.
The arms are those of Don Luigi Reggio e Branciforte, and incorporate the Order of St. Januarius. He was the Spanish ambassador to Venice at the time when Crown Prince Friedrich Christian of Saxony made his Grand Tour of Italy in 1738-40, and he received the Saxon Prince in great style as he passed through Venice on his way to visit his sister, Queen Maria Amalia of Naples. The service was given to Campoflorido as a token of appreciation for his hospitality, and when he was later posted as French ambassador in Paris he took the service with him. The duc de Luynes commented that he saw the splendid service in use twice, once at a dinner to celebrate the birth of a baby to the Queen of Naples and the Two Sicilies and the second to celebrate the birth of Mme. Infante of Spain.
Exhibited and illustrated “Fragile Diplomacy” Bard Graduate Center, New York, Nov. 2007-February 2008; Maureen Cassidy-Geiger, Fragile Diplomacy: Meissen Porcelain for European Courts ca. 1710-63, 2007, p. 229, fig. 10-43; similar example Gielke, Meissener Porrzellan: Sammlung Grassimuseum Leipzig, p.108, no. 73, without the arms; Syz Collection, p. 215 no. 131