Sensational Shell Salts….. Meissen with harbour scenes, c.1740

Sensational Shell Salts….. Meissen with harbour scenes, c.1740

This pair of salts has to be seen to be believed…..

Meissen Shell Salts c.1740

Meissen Shell Salts c.1740

The form was popular in the 19th century; however, these examples date to their first appearance in the Meissen factory, when they were modelled in the 1730’s by J.G.Ehder.

Meissen Shell Salts c.1740

Meissen Shell Salts c.1740

The scallop form is raised on three small scroll feet, with gilt detailing.

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They were most probably painted by J.G.Heinze. They have two finely painted panels each; an upper scene of travellers within a landscape, and a lower harbour scene, within elaborate gilt cartouches having a black outline, the ground with scattered deutsche Blumen, the rims with gilt scrollwork borders and gold line rim.

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Each bears a small blue crossed swords marks, circa 1740.

Meissen Shell Salts c.1740

Meissen Shell Salts c.1740

 

 

The form appears to be the work of J.G.Ehder in the early 1730’s. The decoration on these salts is especially fine, and an attribution to J.G.Heintze is strengthened by similar scenes containing his initials, secreted somewhere in the landscapes.
The gilding with the brown/black outline to the cartouche is an early version of this style, and compares very well to a cup & saucer in the Marouf Collection (#108), attributed to Heinze and dated to c. 1735. The flowers on these salts, however, are more typical of the 1740’s, bringing the date to circa 1740. This is supported by it’s simularity to the Christie-Miller service decoration, dated to 1740. The same decoration appears on a tray in the Arnold Collection (1818) and must be from the same as-yet unnamed service. The strength of this assumption is the gilt cartouche: each service had a slightly different variation in the scrollwork, and this scrollwork is identical.

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These wonderful little pieces are a part of our 2014 ‘Recent Acquisitions’ exhibition, to be held in Geelong on April 12th.

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