Meissen, Böttger porcelain, saucer


Decorated in the Seuter workshop, probably by Bartholomäus Seuter
Circa 1720-25
Diam 12.4 cm

Painted in an iron red, perhaps an alchemist, next to a furnace, holding a pair of tongs. Beside him are a flask and bottle, one laid on its side and the other with a stopper in it.

This saucer is executed in a more painterly manner and more delicately graduated tones than even than the Watteau scenes discussed by Ducret. They are also decorated in monochrome, whereas the Watteau scenes and associated decoration are painted in shades of grey with additional flesh tones. The hand is close to the monochrome scenes one finds on Bartholomäus Seuter’s faience. One jug, formerly of the Vater Collection (and illustrated below) [1] has a scene that is particularly closely related to another saucer from this group, that could even be from the same series of prints, but more pertinently seems to be of the same quality and painted in the same style.

Compare to detail of jug attributed to the hand of Bartholomäus Seuter, circa 1720

Perhaps these saucers are painted by Bartholomäus Seuter in the early years of the Seuter workshop, c. 1720-25. This early dating is confirmed by the similarity of the gilt border decoration, laub und bandelwerk, to that on the gold-decorated service from the Arnhold Collection, now in the Frick Collection, considered to have been a gift to Vittorio Amedeo II of Savoy in 1725 [2].

Saucer from the gold-decorated given to Vittorio Amadeo II, Arnhold Collection


[1] Sold at Christies London, 16 Dec 2021, Vater Collection.

[2] See Arnhold 2008, pp. 571-573.

Good condition


Ehlen Collection, Sotheby’s 6 March 2024


Manners 2024
‘E & H Manners, ‘Decorators on Ceramics and Glass’, 2024, no. 27

Price: £4,000