Tea bowl and saucer

ARTIST / MAKER: Ignaz Preissler (painter)
Meissen porcelain factory (manufacturer)
DATE: ca. 1725 (painted)
ca.1720 (made)
PLACE: Germany (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Porcelain painted in overglaze enamels and gilt

In the early years of production, plain white teapots and other porcelain wares made by the Meissen porcelain manufactory were often sold onto hausmaler (house painters), who would decorate and sell the pieces from their own workshops. This tea bowl and saucer were painted by Ignaz Preissler, a freelance enameller who worked with a signature palette of black enamels knowns as schwarzlot. He was highly valued by members of royalty and nobility and was once employed by a Polish Count over a period of seven years to decorate his porcelain and glass objects.

Hunting was a pursuit favoured by the aristocracy and a popular subject for decorative schemes of the 18th century. It is likely that Ignaz Preissler drew inspiration from late 16th century works such as Jan van der Straet’s hunting tapestries and Antonio Tempesta’s series of engravings, Hunting Scenes. The hunters on the tea bowl and saucer can be seen dressed in the traditional jager (hunter) uniform wearing knee length jack boots and Tyrolean hats. The head jager on the saucer carries a long hunting knife at his belt, and his hat is tufted with capercaillie or black grouse feathers.