Monday, January 27, 2014

To Project and Serve: A Meissen Sugar Box and Cover, 1723-4

Sugar Box and Cover
Meissen, 1723-1724
The Victoria & Albert Museum

This sugar box and cover would have been one small part of a lavish coffee or tea set.
  Created by Germany’s Meissen factory between 1723 and 1724, the panels of the box are adorned in the delightful miniature Chinoiserie designed that were typical of the decoration developed by a new arrival at the celebrated factory, Johann Gregorius Höroldt.   

Johann Höroldt joined Meissen in 1720.  He was known as an ambitious young man (when he joined he concern, he was aged only twenty-three) who had been induced to abandon his position at a rival porcelain factory in Vienna with the promise of improving his fortunes at Meissen.

Höroldt was credited as developing a wide range of rich colors which were new to Meissen and he is known to have created a series of “Chinoiserie” figural designs which were adapted for use on a variety of different wares.  Later, Höroldt was rewarded for his hard work when he became an influential force in the Meissen factory's administration and management.  He died in 1775.

The box is designed in an octagonal shape, painted in enamels and gilded with
 Höroldt’s Chinoiserie figural scenes.  One depicts a man seated at a table, the other shows a man seated--holding a baby or a doll.  The cover  of this sugar box is of architectural form resembling the pointed roof of a pagoda.

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