Tea bowl and saucer

ARTIST / MAKER: Du Paquier Porcelain Factory (maker)
DATE: 1718-1744 (made)
19th century (painted)
PLACE: Vienna (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Porcelain, with painted enamel and gilded decoration

In the first decades of European porcelain production, teapots and other porcelain wares were often sold ‘in the white’ to hausmaler (home painters). They decorated the white wares in their homes or in independent workshops which they then sold. This tea bowl and saucer were made at the Du Paquier porcelain manufactory in Vienna, which sold white pieces to hausmaler. Although the painting was undertaken in the 19th century by an unknown painter, the painted scenes are in the style of the renowned German hausmaler Ignaz Preissler (1676-1741). Preissler worked on a freelance basis enamelling Meissen porcelain with his signature palette of black enamels, known as Schwarzlot or ‘black lead’. The technique originated in stained glassmaking, and Preissler followed the tradition established in the German city of Nuremberg, an important centre for the use of this technique on glass. His work was highly celebrated by kings, archbishops, and other members of the nobility, with one Polish count employing him for seven years to decorate over two hundred porcelain and glass vessels. The scenes on this tea bowl and saucer imitate designs by Georg Philipp Rugendas (1666-1742), a genre painter and engraver of cavalry and battle scenes. Here, men on horseback fire guns or brandish swords, while a town is being sieged in the background.