A Figure of Apollo, modelled by Joachim Kaendler

A Figure of Apollo, modelled by Joachim Kaendler

Circa 1748
Large incised ‘H’ and ‘I’ to the base

This is the central section of a large table centrepiece, Das Apollobad, which depicts Apollo being bathed by Thetis, the mother of Achilles, and her nymphs after his daily labour of driving the sun around the heavens.

This appears to be the only recorded 18th century example of this model. The complete centrepiece is known from a 19th century version, in the showroom of the Meissen factory, taken from the original moulds. The 19th century version was published in H. Gröger, Johann Joachim Kaendler, Dresden 1956, p. 155, pl. 77.

The group is taken from a French bronze, a reduction of the marble by François Giradon and Thomas Regnaudin after designs Charles le Brun. The marble was intended for the Thetis grotto in the park of Versailles.

The group is taken from a French bronze, a reduction of the marble by François Giradon and Thomas Regnaudin after designs Charles le Brun. The marble was intended for the Thetis grotto in the park of Versailles.

The model number for Apollo in the Meissen records is 934, the whole set is 931 to 939 which means a date for modelling around summer or autumn of 1748. It is not mentioned in the Arbeitsberichte at this time but could have been done in Feierabendarbeit.
There is a mention in Kaendler’s Arbeitsberichte of an entry for just the bath in 1770 which was presumably a replacement. It was ordered by the Court commissioner Börner. Gottlob Börner was the proprietor of the Leipzig warehouse and was involved in selling some of the large court centrepieces around this time. A drawing of the centrepiece exists in the Kupferstichkabinett, Dresden from when it was on sale in Leipzig in 1771.

Die Arbeitsberichte Des Meissener Porzellanmodelleurs
Johann Joachim Kaendler
1706 – 1775

OCTOBER 1770, Bl. 451 r – 452 r
3. Vor den H. Hoff Com. Börner ein Modell zu einem Bazein [Bassin] inventiret und modelliret welches zu dem Apollo Bade gebrauchet werden soll, es ist solches II. Zoll {sächs. Zoll = 2,36cm} lang, 8. Zoll breit und 3. und ½ Zoll hoch ist wohl ausgeschweiffet, von allerley Simβwerck und Füllungen, und unten herum aus Felβenwerk bestehend.

This item has been sold