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Meissen Tea- and Coffee Service

A high important Meissen Tea- and Coffee Service


consisting of:

a coffee pot and cover

a tea pot and cover

a hot water pot and cover

a sugar bowl and cover

a tea canister and cover

a confectionary dish

a large bowl

six cups and saucers


Each piece painted either with “Kauffahrtei” scenes or garland scenes within a gilt scrollwork cartouche etched with fine purple scrollwork. The rims with a fine border of gilt foliate scrollwork.


Very fine polychrome decoration.


All pieces are arranged in an original leather case, a so called “travel case”, equipped with elegant original purple velvet and gold border, replaced gilded wooden feet.


Swordmarks and goldmarks


Meissen abt. 1730/1735


Dimensions of the leather case


Height: ca. 30 cm, Width: 76 cm, Depth: 51 cm



Literature of Meissen sets in leather travelling cases:


-National Museum, Stockholm Sweden

 Literature: Fragile Diplomacy Meissen Porcelain for European Courts ca. 1710-63, page 262

-Private Collection, Germany

 Literature: Fragile Diplomacy Meissen Porcelain for European Courts ca. 1710-63, page 211

-Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

 Literature: Meissen Porcelain in the Rijksmuseum, page 176

-Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden Zwinger, Germany

 Literature: Triumph der blauen Schwerter, page 204

-Museum Ludwig, Bamberg, Germany

 Literature: Glanz des Barock, Sammlung Ludwig in Bamberg, pages 120,129 and 186

-Private Collection, Munich, Germany

 Literature: From Invention to Perfection, page 156 and 157



With the “Golden Coffee Service” completed for Augustus the Strong (Dresden 1670-1733 Warsaw) in 1701, now preserved amongst the treasures of the Green Vault in Dresden, Johann Melichior Dinglinger (Biberach/Riss 1664-1731 Dresden) set the highest imaginable standards for the production of wares for the drinking of tea and coffee. The luxurious ensemble of elaborately decorated pouring and drinking vessels made from the finest materials such as gold and silver, precious stones and decorated with ivory figures always gave their princely users the feeling that they were being permitted to partake in an extraordinary ceremony reserved for a select group of highest rank. The chinoiseries and mythological scenes and landscapes of the covered cups and bowls painted in enamel by Georg Friedrich Dinglinger (Biberach/Riss 1666 – 1720 Dresden) further emphasized the exotic nature of these beverages that stimulate the mind and the body equally.


The form of Dinglinger´s drinking vessels and their painted décor may also have had a stylistically formative influence on the Meissen porcelain makers in their design of cups and drinking bowls, though the form of the drinking bowl without handle was of course adopted from Chinese porcelain, examples of which were well-known in Dresden because of the numerous items in Augustus the Strong´s vast collection.


Once Johann Gregorius Höroldt (Jena 1696-1775 Meissen) had begun to work at the Meissen manufactory in 1720, it finally became possible to decorate porcelain with enamel colours. Because the fashion of drinking tea, coffee and chocolate from porcelain cups or bowls was now widespread, the manufactory made it a priority to produce these drinking vessels, along with their concomitant pots, tea caddies, sugar boxes, and rising bowls, which were then decorated by Höroldt and his workshop with European and chinoiserie scenes as well as Kauffahrteiscenes. Tea services were frequently presented on silver-gilt surtouts crafted by Augsburg goldsmiths and arranged in a similar way to the “Golden Coffee Service”.


Even when travelling between palaces, the princes did not want to do without the luxuries to which they were accustomed. For this reason, the production of cases to accommodate these porcelain ensembles soon began in Dresden. The porcelain for the luxury drinks was transported in custom-made leather cases with velvet lining in which there was a perfectly-sized space for every item so that there would be no breakages during the frequently long coach journeys on the bumpy roads. These travelling services also made excellent prestigious gifts from the Dresden court for foreign potentates. For example, Augustus the Strong presented one of these exquisite services in a leather case lined with red velvet to King Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia (Turin 1666-1732 Moncalieri) in 1725.