Meissen pair of bullfinches

Meissen pair of bullfinches

Code: MB696


Modeled by Johann Joachim Kändler

Circa 1747

Hard-paste porcelain

Height: 6 and 5 7/8 in. (15.2 and 14.9 cm.)

Kändler’s work records from October 1747 state the following: “5. Einen Vogel Giempel genannt nach dem Leben aufs Natürlichste modelliret Wie selbiger auf einem Wie natürlich gewachsenen aste sietzet.” [5. Modeled most naturally from life a bird called a Bullfinch perched on a branch, modeled as it grows in nature.] The records go on to say “6. Annoch einen dergleichen Giempel in einer anderen Wendung gegen Ersteren zu setzen, auf Vorige Weise nach dem Leben modelliret,” [6. Modeled another Bullfinch of the same kind in a different pose, to stand turning towards the other, done from life like the one before].

Similar examples of bullfinches have been sold at auction including a pair and a single bird at Sotheby’s, London, 1 May 2013, lots 13 and 35, from the collection of Sir Gawaine and Lady Baillie. Another two bullfinches, formerly in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, were sold at Sotheby’s, New York, 27 October 2017, lot 32. The Metropolitan Museum retains a pair, previously in the collection of Irwin Untermyer.