Tea set

ARTIST / MAKER: Johann Friedrich Steinkopf (decorator)
Porzellan-Manufaktur Ludwigsburg (manufacturer)
DATE: ca. 1765 (made)
PLACE: Germany (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Porcelain painted in overglaze enamels and gilt

The Ludwigsburg Porcelain Manufactory was founded on 5 April 1758 by Charles Eugene, Duke of Württemberg. In the early years, the quality of the paste that the factory produced was relatively poor and of a dull white consistency, meaning that the tablewares the factory made were more affordable than those manufactured by Meissen. This tea set is decorated with romanticised paintings of mountains, trees, rocky outcroppings and figures enjoying the landscape, in the manner of 18th century Dutch painters Jan Roos and Philips Wouwerman and, in particular, the french painter Antoine Watteau. Such decoration indicates that German factories were looking to each other for inspiration, as by this time Meissen had become well-known for producing porcelain decorated with Watteau-inspired scenes. The decoration of this tea service, including a teapot, milk jug, tea canister, and six cups and saucers can be attributed to the painter Johann Friedrich Steinkopf (1737-1825), who was appointed in May 1759 to decorate Ludwigsburg wares with pastoral scenes, landscapes and equine subjects inspired by his own oil paintings and life studies of farm animals.