Knife, Meissen, hard paste porcelain, c.1725


This rare Meissen cannon-shaped knife haft is painted with chinoiserie figures in the manner of J.G. Höroldt. One figure kneels in a garden before a table on which are arranged two steaming or smoking vessels. This could represent an altar, or perhaps a tea ceremony. A palm tree divides the space between the table and a standing figure wearing a tall hat and holding a fan. Large winged insects flutter around these figures. Saint-Cloud style lambrequin borders in underglaze blue have been ornamented with the addition of silver lustre. The haft is fitted with a steel blade and a silver ferrule and cap.

The Hausmalerei decoration, carried out in the Aufenwerth workshop, Augsburg, is almost certainly the work of Anna Elisabeth Wald. The Augsburg goldsmith, Johann Aufenwerth, began decorating Meissen porcelain in enamel colours in 1718, together with his daughters, Anna Elisabeth and Sabina, who, though married, continued the practice after their father's death in 1728.

Unidentified cutler’s mark.

Provenance: An English Private Collection.

Condition: No damage or restoration to the porcelain haft, just light wear to the silver lustre. There is a small nick to the steel blade.

Dimensions: Length 23 cm (including blade)

Cutlery: From Gothic to Art Deco - The J. Hollander Collection, Jan van Trigt (Petraco-Pandora NV, 1999).

Ref. For a discussion of Anna Elisabeth Wald née Aufenwerth's work, see Siegfried Ducret, Meißner Porzellan bemalt in Augsburg (1971), vol. I, pp. 41-45, and ills. 354-365, for examples with similar chinoiserie decoration.



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