Monday, December 26, 2011

The object of the day: "Count Brühl's Tailor on a Goat"

One of Meissen's more curious pieces, this delightful porcelain statue is entitled "Count Brühl's Tailor on a Goat," and is considered by most experts to be one of Meissen's greatest works. 

Modeled after a design by Johann-Joachim Kaendler (Kändler), the most famous sculptor at the Meissen factory, this figure is a marvel of exceptional artistry. Fascinating details, from the tailor's jauntily-cocked tricorn hat, colorful jacket and slightly askew spectacles, to the shears hanging from the goat's horn and his own gilt-rimmed pince nez, are clear testimony to Kaendler's skill as an artist, and beautifully represent the Meissen reputation for excellence. Featured Meissen crossed swords mark in blue underglaze, and manufacturing label
The original design of "Count Brühl's Tailor on a Goat" is featured in Meissen Portrait Figures by Len and Yvonne Adams.

Date: Circa 1925
Dimensions: 17" wide x 9"deep x16 ½" high 

The story of this exquisite work is an interesting as the piece itself. During the 1730s, Count Brühl, Chief Administrator to the King, was known as the best-dressed man in Saxony (now Germany). The Count's tailor, of course, felt he was as much responsible for that title as the Count himself and therefore considered himself extremely important. The tailor had become very conceited and requested that the Count secure him an invitation to dine at Court with the King. The Count, who dared not make such a request to the King, came up with a plan that he hoped would fulfill the tailor's wishes. He went to Kaendler and commissioned him to create a statue of the tailor that could be placed on the Royal dining table, thus fulfilling his tailor's wish to dine with the King. Kaendler's sense of humor got the better of him and he fashioned the grandiose tailor astride an equally ostentatious billy goat. Kaendler's creation became a hilarious caricature of the pompous tailor who became a great figure of fun.

1 comment:

  1. Great story and beautiful item! One turned up on Antiques Roadshow.


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