Tea canister

ARTIST / MAKER: Johann Ehrenfried Stadler (painter)
Meissen porcelain factory (manufacturer)
DATE: ca.1728 (made)
PLACE: Germany (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Porcelain painted in overglaze enamels

The secret of Chinese porcelain production was finally understood in Germany in 1708 and led to the growth of the European porcelain industry. The discovery of hard-paste porcelain is credited to the mathematician, physicist and physician Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus. Following his death, the alchemist Johann Friedrich Böttger began producing porcelain at the Meissen porcelain manufactory, where this tea canister was created. Made from hard-paste porcelain and painted in enamels, it is decorated in the chinoiserie style by J.E. Stadler who worked at the Meissen manufactory from 1723, where he was described as a painter of ‘flower works’. He generally combined these flowers with exotic birds and East Asian figures, which at Meissen were usually called ‘Japanese’. Stadler’s work is easily recognised by his highly stylised yet delicate use of reds, purples and black outlines for his chinoiserie scenes. This tea canister is a quintessential example of his work.