A rare Meissen Butter Tub and Cover, circa 1760-65

The cover of this rare Meissen butter tub, with its bud finial, is painted in underglaze blue with a chinoiserie scene depicting a master and servant in a garden, surrounded by a trelliswork border. The base with pierced lug handles is painted with a continuous chinoiserie landscape between narrow bands. These bands resemble the metal hoops on a coopered wooden tub or pail for use in a dairy, an allusion further reinforced by the handle form. 

Pressnummer 23 to the unglazed base, and the painter’s mark Mö for Johann Carl Möbius (b.1735), beneath crossed swords mark with dot, to the interior. The Meissen factory inventories for 1775 records a Möbius father and son as ‘Blaumaler‘, or painters in blue.

Condition: Excellent – no damage or restoration, just a tiny firing blemish inside the rim.

Dimensions: Diameter 10 cm 

Meissener Porzellan 1710-1810: Ausstellung im Bayerischen Nationalmuseum, München (Hirmer, 1966).

18th-Century German Porcelain, George Savage (Rockliff, 1958).

See also Nicholas Zumbulyadis, Bernard von Barewisch and Hermann Reiff, Chinese Fantasies: A Most Unusual Chinoiserie Meissen Dinner Service in Underglaze-Blue, The Journal of American Ceramic Circle, vol. XV (2009), pp. 47-61.