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An important and rare meissen white figure of a monkey circa 1732
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有關物品

Modelled by J. J. Kändler for the Japanese Palace, Dresden, wearing a belt and seated on a tree stump taking a pinch of snuff from the oval box held in his left paw\nThe use of monkeys as pets and trained performers is recorded in Europe as early as the thirteenth century. In the 1759 edition of Essais Historiques sur Paris, Germain-François Poullain de Saint-Foix relates, on pp. 39-40, instances of the method by which tolls were to be paid at the entrance to Paris during the reign of Louis IX: "In a tariff by St. Louis to settle the tolls that were due at the entrance to Paris, in the Petit Châtelet, we read that the merchant transporting a monkey for sale, pays four deniers; if the monkey belongs to a joculator and they play and dance before the toll-collector, then the toll is paid. From this comes the proverb, 'pay in money, the monkey in romps'." There are also numerous examples of performing monkeys appearing as illustrative details in medieval illuminated manuscripts, such as those in the Harleian Collection in the British Library, where they are depicted dressed as a jester, balancing on stilts, playing a lute, with a trained bear or engaged in various other human activities.\n\nInterest in monkeys imitating human behavior extended into the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, particularly in France among the aristocracy, where the genre known as singerie is reflected in the decorative motifs of Jean Bérain (1640-1711), the paintings of elegantly dressed monkeys by Claude Audran III (1658-1734) and the wall paintings of Christophe Huet (1700-1759) at Chateau Chantilly. The 1727 book, Fables, by John Gay, features, in Fable XIV, 'The Monkey who has seen the World', an engraving by Gerard Vandergucht, after a drawing by John Wootton (1682-1764), depicting a fashionably attired pigtailed monkey taking snuff. It is not surprising, then, that Kändler might choose to create an anthropormorphic monkey for the porcelain menagerie of Augustus the Strong, possibly modelled from life after examples at court or based on contemporary engravings. Kändler's work report of February 1732, as cited by Wittwer (2004), p. 291, records: 'So hat auch der Modellirer Kenntler...einen großen Affen von besonderer Arth...poussiret' [Modeller Kändler also...modelled...a large monkey of a special kind], which could refer to either the figure taking snuff or equally to the similar figure with grapes or chain.  Among the deliveries of 1731-32 there is one that includes three large white monkeys but there is no clear indication as to which of the models by Kändler either the work report or the delivery records refers.  The 1770 and 1779 inventories list four large white monkeys, "without young, all damaged". On 17th March 1849, the sale of one monkey taking snuff to Teichert in Meissen is recorded; and in 1900, there are only two monkeys remaining in the Royal Collection, one, white, and one, enamelled, both taking snuff. Therefore, of the four monkeys listed in the 1770 and 1779 inventories, at least three were snuff-taking figures, two of which were still in the Royal Collection in 1900. It follows then, that it may reasonably be assumed the present example was sold either in 1849 or at a slightly later date from the Collection of the Japanese Palace, possibly directly to Jacob Astley, 16th Baron Hastings (1797-1859), himself an avid collector of porcelain at the time.\n\nIn addition to the present example, there are two other monkeys of the same model known: an enamelled figure from the Dr. Fritz Mannheimer collection in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (inv. no. BK-17494), illustrated by den Blaauwen (2000), p. 402, cat. no. 293; and a white figure in the porcelain collection of the Dresden State Art Collections (inv. no. PE 974), illustrated by Wittwer, op. cit., p. 218, fig. 215 and Albiker (1935), pl. X, no. 26.\nSotheby's would like to thank Prof. Dr. Ulrich Pietsch for his kind assistance with the cataloguing and research of this lot.
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condition

Multiple firing cracks, some filled with 18th century filler, including one at right armpit (3in long), one across right ankle (2in long), along left hind leg at base (3 1/4 in long) and inside of left hind leg (2in long), and a large open firing crack along the spine (approx. 12in long, approx. 1/4 in at widest point) extending to the base for another 6 in. Hair crack / firing crack from groin extending to inside of rear right leg (approx. 5in). Tip of one finger missing at right hand. Toes of right foot broken and re-stuck, three with 18th century filler, one toe missing of left foot. Two cracks along tree stump (left and back). Two large chips re-stuck on left upper thigh with some plaster filler along the edges (approx. 4in by 3in at deepest point). Cover of snuff box broken and re-stuck. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

dimensions

48.6cm., 19 1/8 in. high

provenance

The Royal Collections of Saxony, Japanese Palace, Dresden Probably sold, 17th March 1849, to Johann Carl Friedrich Teichert, Meissen The Property of the Rt. Hon. Lord Hastings, Sotheby’s London, 27th June 1947, lot 5 Olive, Lady Baillie, Harbourside, Nassau, Bahamas, acquired from Bowden, 3rd January 1948


*Note that the price is not recalculated to the current value, but refers to the actual final price at the time the product was sold.

*Note that the price is not recalculated to the current value, but refers to the actual final price at the time the product was sold.


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