MEISSEN FIGURE OF SCARAMOUCHE
from the Weissenfels series
Hard paste porcelain
Circa 1746 Height: 5 ½ in. (14 cm)
Marks: Crossed swords in underglaze blue
This figure is part of a series of eighteen figures which were ordered by Johann Adolf II, duke of Sachsen-Weissenfels (1685-1746), the first cousin of Augustus the Strong, perhaps to commemorate his wedding to Frederike von Sachsen-Gotha in 1743. They were made by Peter Reinicke, with some supervisory corrections by Johann Joachim Kändler. The eighteen figures are: Harlequin “Ancien,” Harlequin “Moderne,” Scapin, the Captain, Narcissin, Giangurgolo, Beltrame, Tartaglia, Pierrot, Mezzetin, two figures of Scaramouche, dancing Harlequin or Hanswurst, Pantalone, the Dottore, Pulcinella, dancing Harlequine, and Columbine with a mask and castanets. Fourteen of the figures were made by Reinicke, of which at least nine were corrected by Kändler between March and September 1744. Reinicke refers directly in his work notes to the fourteen figures that he made in 1744. Pantalone was made in March; Harlequin, either Harlequin “moderne” or Dancing Harlequin (Hanswurst), was modelled in Paril; Dottore and Pulcinella were modelled in May, and Pulcinella was completed in June; Scaramouche was made in June; and Pierrot and Scapin were made in July. In August 1744, Reinicke made four figures: Beltrame, Mezzetin, the Captain, and Giangurgolo. In September 1744, he created Narcissin, Harlequin “ancien,” and Tartaglia. The last reference was made in October 1744, when Reinicke recorded repairing a Dancing Harlequine. Kändler’s work notes show that he corrected more than nine figures, beginning with Pantalone in March 1744. He specifically mentions the duke of Weissenfels in regard to his corrections to the figure of the Dottore. He also corrected a figure of Harlequin in April 1744. In May he worked on Pantalone again. In July Kändler noted that he corrected “some” figures from the Italian comedy which he does not identify; in August 1744, he mentions six other unidentified comedy figures. Ten of these figures were directly, and two, the Dottore and Pantalone, were indirectly inspired by the engravings of François Joullain, some of which were after Jean-Antoine Watteau, Jean Bérain, Claude Gillot, and Jacques Callot, and Charles-Antoine Coypel, in Luigi Riccoboni’s Histoire du theater italien, published in Paris in 1728.