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Pair of Zurich Figures

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Dates Circa 1773
Medium Porcelain
Origin Switzerland
Description A very rare pair of Zurich figures, ein Diener und Dienerin, carrying trays. The manservant, dressed in a purple suit and a flower-sprigged waistcoat, holds out a circular black tazza on which stands a goblet. He has a stone bottle in his left hand. His companion maidservant, who is unexpectedly wearing earrings, is dressed in a yellow flower-sprigged skirt and jacket with a green bodice and a white apron. The black in her hair is intricately braided in a typical Tyrolean style. She is holding a scaled down miniature Zurich solitaire comprising, a porcelain tray, a coffee pot, a hot-milk jug, a sugar bowl, and a tea bowl and saucer, each painted with floral sprays.

Marked with a Z in underglaze blue.

Manservant 14cm High

Maidservant 13.3cm High
Condition Manufacturing firing faults to bases
Literature These two figures appear in the form register of 1958 as No. 124. "Diener mit Weinflasche" and No. 145."Deiner mit Servierbrett". The miniature wares on their trays are recorded in the form records for 1800 with two delightfully primitive drawings of the wine glass and the coffee pot forms. The pieces of the solitaire are characteristic of Zurich porcelain, both in shape and floral decoration. Interestingly, the servants appear to be rather well dressed.

In his 1959 monograph on Zurich porcelain, Dücret ascribed these figures to Johann Jochim Wilhelm Spängler. However, in Timothy Clifford’s article on J. J. Spängler in the Connoisseur in 1978, he comments, "that it is thought that he worked as a modeller at his father's factory"; "No documented models by the young Spängler are recorded." In the 18th century, the Spängler family was well connected in the porcelain world. Adam Spängler became the factory manager at Höchst, where he was a figure modeller. In 1790, Spängler moved to the Derby factory in England, where he remained for five years and, whilst there, produced some fine Derby biscuit figure models.