A rare Meissen Table Spoon, circa 1735-40

Moulded with basketwork, this rare silver-shape Meissen table spoon (Tafel Löffel) is decorated in colourful enamels with indianische Blumen, including a flowering prunus branch and scattered sprays and sprigs, the underside with a tied bundle of reeds. The edges of the handle are decorated with bands in green, yellow and black enamel. Perhaps I am being fanciful here, but I do wonder whether this could be a reference to the coat of arms for the Electorate of Saxony, as it consists of those colours.

The same indianische Blumen decoration and basketwork moulding occurs on a Meissen serving spoon from the Sulkowski Service, c.1735-38 (Bonhams, 500 Years of European Ceramics, 9 December 2021, lot 175). The Sulkowski Service included 48 table spoons, one of which is in the Porcelain Collection in Dresden (PE 1390a-c).

Kakiemon inspired patterns at Meissen are often said to include indianische Blumen (Indian flowers), an odd term that to the mind of early 18th-century Europeans who regarded India, China and Japan as almost interchangeable and entirely foreign, typified the exotic effect of pure white porcelain painted with bold and bright eastern flowers and animals.

Unmarked.

Condition: Excellent – no chips, cracks or restoration.

Dimensions: Length 18.6 cm

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

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