Meissen Manufactory (German, 1710–present)
ca. 1745
German, Meissen
Hard-paste porcelain
Overall: 2 3/8 x 13 1/2 x 13 1/2 in. (6 x 34.3 x 34.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Mercedes Bass, 2007
Accession Number:
Not on view
This large dish and another acquired with it were most likely produced as part of an extensive dinner service, although the service has not yet been identified. Their ornithological decoration suggests a date of manufacture in the mid- to late 1740s. In 1745 the Meissen factory acquired the first volume of Eleazer Albin's "Natural History of Birds," and the decoration on a number of vases and other wares produced shortly thereafter was based on Albin's prints. The accuracy and specificity of the birds portrayed on these wares set them apart from the much less detailed and more generic birds on porcelain produced in the following decades. The skill of the Meissen painters is also reflected in the rendering of the insects on the molded basket work pattern executed in low relief on the rim.
Marking: Painted in underglaze blue on underside: crossed swords (Meissen factory mark)

Impressed on underside: 20

Impressed on the inside of foot rim: three slashes
[ Brian Haughton Gallery , London, until ca. 1995 ] ; Mercedes T. Bass (until 2007; to MMA)