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Meissen Group of the Sultan riding on the back of an Elephant with a Blackamoor Figure

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Dates Circa 1820
Origin Germany
Description An important Meissen group of The Sultan riding on the back of an elephant with a blackamoor figure at the Elephants head. Circa 1820

The Sultan sits grandly on a gilt tasseled white cushion, which is on top of an elaborately gilded patterned turquoise tasseled coverlet. He wears a white jewelled turban with a purple feather. His blue coat is over a purple and gold patterned flowing robe, with gilded buttons. Yellow pantaloons peep through the base of the tunic. On his feet are orange pantoufle. He rests against a large grey cushion at the back of the elephant. In his left hand, he holds aloft a sceptre with a gilded crescent moon. The Blackamoor or Mahout has a yellow patterned loincloth and lies across the elephant’s head with his thotti (hook) in his left hand.

Traces of two crossed swords in underglaze blue to one of the underside of the elephant’s foot.

Height: 26cm, Length: 28cm.


Rainer Rückert Meissner Porzellan 1719-1810, catalogue of the exhibition in the Bayerichen Nationalmuseum, ed. Hirmer verlag München,1966.p.263
n°1060 & 1061 p.191(text)
For two other examples of this model: Ansbach Residenz, Germany.

A.L. den Blaauwen, Meissen Porcelain in the Rijksmuseum, p.411. p.412,
For a model with a clock is dated to 1740-50

A.von Wallwitz, Meissen – Porcelain for Gentleman, ‘On dating Meissen Elephants' - for a discussion on this group, p.p.105-115

In the Meissen archives under Kändler’s lists in his Feirerabendarbeit (work sheets), Einen groszen Elephanten BA IAa 28, p. 80): A large elephant is cited. His assistant Peter Reincicke also refers to a large elephant, but without figures in his February-March 1741 work sheets.

In the registers for the Paris marchand mercier Lazare Duvaux, there is noted: en janvier 1752 "un éléphant de porcelaine de Saxe portant une figure – 216 l"

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