Pair of Meissen Swans, modelled by J. J. Kaendler

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An extremely rare and important pair of Meissen models of Mute Swans, known as the Cygnus Olor, beautifully modelled to a high naturalistic and decorative effect by Johann Joachim Kaendler and Peter Reineke, each swan seated nesting amongst bulrushes and reeds, the black webbed feet supporting its body, the plumage to the body, neck and wings highly sculpted to show every detail of the feathers, the rising inquisitive heads in natural colours and looking to one side.

Circa  1750

Height: 10 ¾ in  (27.3 cms)

Marks:  Crossed swords marks in underglaze blue to each model.

Provenance:   Niarchos collection New York

The models for the present swans were a collaborative effort between J.J. Kaendler and Peter Reineke, who are recorded as working on them in November 1747.  However, according to Ludwig Schnorr von Carolsfeld in his catalogue for the Dresden Collection of Gustav von Klempener, they were not finalised until the Summer of the following year.   A popular model, these swans are found in a variety of sizes and are often set into ormolu mounts, popular during the reigns of both Louis XV and Louis XVI.   The mounts often take the robust form of rococo foliate swirls forming candelabra arms, or that of a calmer more neo-classic design featuring the birds nesting amidst bullrushes.   For a pair mounted as rocaille candelabra, the arms applied with tôle flowers, see Abraham L. den Blaauwen, Meissen Porcelain in the Rÿksmuseum, pp. 416-417, no. 305.

Item No. 680

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