Porcelain of turingy factories
Porcelain of turingy factories XVIII-begining of the century
MEETING OF PURPOSE OF TURING IN HERMITAGE, quite significant in number (245 items), is of undoubted interest in its composition. It includes the products of the 18th century and several items from the first half of the 19th century produced by the nine manufactories of Thuringia, as well as the nearby Tetau (Upper Franconia) manufactory, closely associated with Thuringia.
The Hermitage collection allows us to appreciate the artistic and historical significance of Thuringian porcelain in general and of some of the largest manufactories: Kloster-Feilsdorf, Limbach, Volkstedt, Gotha.
The collection of Thuringian porcelain began to be formed in 1918. In the pre-revolutionary Hermitage, Western European porcelain was represented only by the four largest manufactories – Meisen, Vienna, Berlin and Sèvres. The products of the so-called small factories were neither in the Winter Palace nor in the Hermitage.
A large number of porcelain went to the Hermitage in 1918-1920s from private collections, mainly through the Department of Protection of Art and Antiquities. The most significant collection of porcelain, the collection of A. S. Dolgorukov, was transferred to Epmistry in 1918; in its composition, besides the porcelain of the largest manufactories, there were also the best specimens of almost all small factories, including Thuringian ones. Of undoubted interest is the Thuringian porcelain from the collection of V.N. Argutinsky-Dolgoruky, where there are especially many figures of the Kloster-Feilsdorf manufactory, among them the rarest series “The Peoples of the Levant”, as well as some figures from the “Italian comedy” series. The collection was received in 1919, 1921 and 1924.
In addition to these two largest collections, which formed the core of the collection of Thuringian porcelain, the Hermitage, through the Museum Fund, received plastic, dishes and various items from the famous collections of Evdokimovs, Paskevich, Oliv at different times. Later, certain items were acquired from the collections of Somov, Slonim, Javić and others. Many valuable exhibits from the museums of Stieglitz and the Society for the Encouragement of Arts were received in the Hermitage collection in the 1920s. The collection of Thuringian porcelain in the Hermitage and is currently being replenished with acquisitions of the Procurement Commission. There is an interest in the question of how valuable and extremely rare figures of the manufacture of the Kloster-Feylsdorf manufactory came to Russia, among which are the series mentioned above.
It is known that Feilsdorf in search of sales markets was not limited to selling his products in Germany itself. The dishes were exported to distant countries, including Turkey. In this respect, Feilsdorf did not differ from other European manufactories, tens of thousands supplied cups of coffee to Turkey. We can assume that the products of this production were sent to Russia, although the figures of Feilsdorf probably at that time were not particularly interested in the Russian buyer, as they could not compete with the Meissen.
Ernst Kramer, who studied the Feylsdorf archives, found documents concerning a certain Fischer, who in 1791-1797 was a tenant of the manufactory in Kloster-Feilsdorf. According to them it was established that Fisher, who founded a porcelain factory in Gatchina, near St. Petersburg, brought to Russia several boxes with figures of the production of Feilsdorf. Thus appeared in Russia at the end of the XVIII century, the figures of Kloster-Feilsdorf, dispersed in many collections.
By the way, the data on the appearance of Fisher in Russia after 1797 are also interesting because they help to specify the date of the founding of a private porcelain factory in Gatchina. From the archival documents of the Imperial Porcelain Factory in St. Petersburg, it was only known that the Gatchina Porcelain Factory of Fisher, which had been bought into the coffers of the heirs after the death of the owner in 1799, was transferred to the factory as its branch. Proceeding from this, it can be concluded that the existence of the Fisher factory in Gatchina is limited to 1797 – 1799 years.
The following are known from the products of the Feilsdorf manufactory, which are available from private collectors: the unique figure of the Sultanash from the series “Peoples of the Levant” (collected by BA Shelkovnikov, Leningrad), and Venus from the series “Seven Planets” of small size (from collection K A. Somova, now in a private collection in Moscow). Perhaps the figures brought Fischer, there are in other collections. It is not known, in particular, the location of the figure of the Madonna from the group “Crucifixion”, a steam room to the figure of the apostle John, who entered the Hermitage from the collection of Javić; before both these figures belonged to Evdokimov.
Characterizing the porcelain production of Thuringia as a whole, it should be noted that its origin and development were favored by economic conditions. In the 60s and 80s of the 18th century, when porcelain manufactories of Thuringia were based one after another, porcelain enterprises already existed in most German states. However, arising more often by the will of the sovereign princes, who cared not so much for the prosperity of the new production, but for the maintenance of the prestige of their court, they proved to be less viable than the Thuringians. Because of the lack of a solid economic base, many of these enterprises did not justify themselves and soon ceased to exist. In addition, they did not have those natural prerequisites for development that Thuringia had with its natural wealth, favorable for porcelain production, local materials and fuel.
Although the porcelain enterprises of Thuringia did not achieve in artistic and technical terms the perfection that distinguishes the products of the most famous manufactories of Germany – Meissen, Nymphenburg, Frankenthal, they nevertheless played a significant role in the history of porcelain production. Founded by private entrepreneurs, who usually had very limited means, the Thuringian manufactories were to create not luxury items, but rather inexpensive products available to a wide range of customers and therefore quickly gained popularity. And yet much of what is created in the Thuringian manufactories, in terms of its artistic value, is not inferior to the works of Germany’s leading manufactories. Numerous porcelain enterprises of Thuringia (and by the end of the 18th century there were already 13 of them) and now occupy an important place in the economy of the country.
In the porcelain products of Thuringia, the artistic traditions of folk art are strong, and this gives them a unique identity. Their successes Turingian manufactories are largely due to creative searches and achievements of masters of various specialties, often remaining nameless, which were largely inspired by local art traditions. The origins of porcelain production in Thüringen were the production of faience and glass, as it often happened at a time when porcelain was just beginning.
The emergence of the porcelain industry in Thuringia is characterized by one feature that brings it together with Russian and Italian production: it emerged entirely independently, without the help and assistance of runaway masters and arcanists from other German states. Like DI Vinogradov, who invented porcelain in the 1740s in St. Petersburg, student Georg Heinrich Macheleid and Zntzendorf and glassmaker Gotthelf Greiner in Katzkhutta, independently of each other and from their predecessors, discovered necessary for the manufacture of porcelain materials and found a way to produce it. As a result of their research and inventions, porcelain manufactories appeared in Gotha (1757), Kloster-Feilsdorf (1760), Folkstedt (1760), Wallendorf (1764), Limbach (1772), Grossbreitenbach (1777), Ilmenau (1777), Gere (1780 ), Rauenstein (1783) and others. Almost all these products exist even today.
All the listed manufactories, one-large number of exhibits, others-just a few samples, are represented in the Hermitage collection. In Germany itself, rich collections of Thuringian porcelain are available in the museums of Eisenach, Leipzig, Erfurt, Weimar, Gotha.
However, despite the existence of fairly large collections of Thuringian porcelain, it has not yet become the subject of separate research, has not been reflected in special publications, what could be the catalogs of the most significant museum collections.
For many years Thuringian porcelain did not attract the attention of researchers at all. After the publication in 1909 of the fundamental work of Graul and Kurzwelli, there were almost no special articles or books about Thuringian porcelain. Only in recent years Ernst Kramer has studied the porcelain of Kloster-Feilsdorf and published several articles devoted to this manufactory. In addition, two small books were published. One of them is a short essay on the history of the Feilsdorf Manufactory and a review of its activities in our day; This work appeared in connection with the 200th anniversary of the existence of the porcelain factory in Kloster-Feilsdorf (1760-1960). Another book, written by Helmut Scherf, Director of the Museum of Thuringia in Eisenach, was published in a series of publications of monuments from the collection of this museum; in it there is a review article and reproductions of porcelain from various manufactories of Thuringia with brief annotations.
As for the Hermitage collection of Thuringian porcelain, it was little studied and almost unpublished. Only in recent years three articles have been printed
in magazines: two about the figures of the Kloster-Feilsdorf manufactory and one about the figures of Feilsdorf and Limbach.
It is because of insufficient knowledge of the porcelain of Thuringia that the complete publication of the Hermitage, a very significant collection of Thuringian porcelain seems to us quite timely.
Attributing many items of the Hermitage collection, the author uses all the literature that was available and his use, leads the literature on models of almost all the figures included in the catalog, with the exception of those that have not been reflected in the literature.
In this work, it seems to us, and to some extent it was possible to elucidate the circumstances of the origin of some things that were still unclear. In all cases, when in the literature there is an obsolete or obviously wrong attribution, it is indicated in the catalog.
GOTA. Porcelain Manufactory Gotha was founded in 1757 by Wilhelm-Theodor Rotberg (Wilhelm Theodor von Rotberg). A lot of work had to be done to achieve satisfactory results. Only after in 1772 it was possible to attract to the manufactory the skillful painters-painters Christian Schulz, Johann Georg Gabel and Johann Adam Brehm, the production reached its heyday, which provided him with a leading a place among the enterprises of Thuringia. For a long time these masters were tenants of the manufactory. According to reports, Schultz has perfected mass and glaze. Thanks to the magnificent paintings, the Goths became popular.
Among the painters of the manufactory there are also new names: Schmidt, who performed plot compositions, landscapes, flowers, Riiger-the master of the landscape, Frey, who wrote flowers, arabesques and ornamental compositions.
In 1802, six years after Rothberg’s death, the estate was purchased by the Crown Prince Augustus of Gotha-Altenburg and leased to his approximate Egidius Henneberg, who joined the former tenants, but gradually suspended his partners and from 1813 to 1834 appeared the sole director of the factory. Later, for a long time, until 1881, production remained in the possession of his heirs.
The Hermitage has Gotha products of different periods, from the earliest samples to the products of the first third of the 19th century.
Very interesting is the early work of Gotha-aromatist on tagan. This unique object from the greyish-yellow mass with a list of lilac, yellow and green colors, which brings it closer to the faience, is typical for the first, still very imperfect items that have reached us in single copies. The Hermitage aroma is especially valuable in that it traces elements of the Rococo style, which has not been developed in the production of Gotha. But, at the same time, it is already possible to note in the aromatist some features of the style of Louis XVI, which later found wide application in the products of the manufactory. This style determines the artistic achievements of Gotha, whose products were then unrivaled among the manufactories of Thuringia. In the Hermitage collection this period is represented by characteristic objects, very diverse in decor. In the last quarter of the XVIII – beginning of the XIX century, the manufactory produced mostly theta-a-tete, tapeworms, gift cups with lids-for coffee and chocolate, a variety of vases. The painting of objects of this time is distinguished by a special purity and freshness of colors. Widespread were cups with silhouette portraits, monograms and memorable inscriptions, as well as with allegorical scenes.
Among the exhibits dating from the early 1780s, a heart-shaped tray for two chocolate cups (cups are not preserved), painted with purple, with scenes in the style of Boucher, and a creamer with a lid of ovoid form, attracting attention by the perfection of the lines. With all the care of the execution, the flowers scattered all over the surface of the creamer, as well as the ornamental belt of the finest golden grid in the form of lace bordered by a twisted garland made of blue enamel paint, are surprisingly freely and easily written with gold and silver.
By the 1790s, smooth pear-shaped and ovoid forms were replaced by cylindrical and cone-shaped ones. The paintings, mainly with the use of antique themes, become monophonic, in a manner close to grisail painting.
Around 1795, tea sets appeared in Gotha, the painting of which mimics the Greek red-figured vase painting. In the collection of the Hermitage there is a cup with a high flat handle, distinguished by the graceful silhouette and masterfully executed painting of this type.
The XIX century is represented by two things-a cup and a creamer. A cup of cylindrical shape, characteristic of the first quarter of the century, is distinguished by the abundant use of gold; in the center – an oval color miniature, in all likelihood a portrait of the Duke of August Goth-Altenburgsky. On a small creamer with children’s silhouettes against the backdrop of a landscape that can be dated back to the early 1930s, there is a printed stamp of those years: the name of the owner of the factory-Nieberberg-Dan in the form of a rebus.
CLOSTER-FEYLSDORF. Among the enterprises of Thuringia of the 18th century, the production of the porcelain factory of Kloster-Feylsdorf, founded in 1760, had a special place in its artistic significance.
Unlike other porcelain industries in Thuringia, owned by private entrepreneurs, the Feylsdorf factory was in the possession of the founding representative of the ruling dynasty-prince Friedrich-Wilhelm-Eugene from the house of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Success in the organization of the manufactory was facilitated by his enterprising, versatile and apparently familiarity with the fundamentals of porcelain production in Copenhagen, where he lived for a while, while serving in the Danish army.
In 1765, Prince Eugene received great privileges for land, raw materials, fuel, water resources from his elder brother, the reigning Duke of Ernst-Friedrich Hondburghausen, who ruined the country with excessive extravagance and, apparently, expected to receive a certain share of income from the porcelain manufactory based in his possessions. Despite all the knowledge, outstanding abilities and great energy of Eugene, the porcelain manufactory-his favorite child – in all matters of which he took the most active part, suffered losses; until the end of his life, Eugene could not pay his debts.
The high artistic level of the Feylsdorff products and the large expenses associated with this greatly affected prices, and this, in turn, reduced the demand for the production of the manufactory. There are many documented evidence that the Feilsdorf Manufactory could not successfully compete with other Thuringian enterprises, in particular Limbach. In the conditions of a constant struggle for existence, the financial situation of the Feilsdorf Manufactory continued to deteriorate. In 1791, it was leased, and in 1795 its founder, Prince Eugene died, in 1797 the ducal commission sold the manufactory for 15,000 florins to the owners of the limbakh factory-sons Gothelf Greiner and the firm Friedrich-Christian Greiner in Rauenstein.
From the first days of its existence, the Feilsdorf Manufactory produced nonsense plastic, utensils and a wide variety of items-vases, table decorations, candlesticks, inkwells, snuff boxes, knobs, etc. Among the painters whose names were preserved in payroll, the talented Gottfried- Theodor Döll (Gottfried Theodor Doll) is the son of the managing manufactory and the brother of the sculptor Friedrich-Wilhelm-Eugene Döll. On some of the things that are painted by NM-dishes, figures-there is his initial. With special skill Döll painted with flowers and fruits; very peculiar “fragrant”, freely scattered bouquets with softly written, distinguished by a special velvety, large flowers. In such a manner the tray is executed; Della is also attributed to the painting of figures, whose clothes are adorned with small flower garlands. Undisputed works of this painter are different items from the service with birds among flower gnrljands; one such sample is available in the Hermitage collection.
The plasticity of Feilsdorf is represented by very significant works. One of the first fashion designers known to us is Wenzel Neu (Wenzel Neu). He worked at the manufactory from 1763 to 1767. To him belong: the series “Italian Comedy”, figures from the series “Four Elements”, “Seven Planets” and some of the earliest models of Feilsdorf, for example, a shepherdess playing the pipe.
Interesting are the works of the student Wenzel Neu-Friedrich-Wilhelm-Eugen Döll (Friedrich Wilhelm Eugen Doll), later a court sculptor in Gotha. According to his models, some figures from the series “Peoples of the Levant” (Turkish courtyard), unique in the number of figures in the Hermitage are executed.
Among the masters of Thuringian porcelain sculpture, the most famous sculptor and painter Franz Kotta (Franz Kotta), who worked in Feylsdorf, Volkstedt, Grossbreitenbach. The collection of the Hermitage contains the figures executed by his models-the Persian king Cyrus from the series “Four monarchies”, a small figure of Pomona, “Autumn” and others.
All samples of plastic, one-expressive and dynamic, others-more static, for all the variety of subjects are distinguished by the closure of the silhouette and the laconicity of the smooth lines that make up the special feature of the products of Feilsdorf.
FOLKSHTDT. Manufacture Volkshtedta in the principality of Schwarzburg-Rudolyntdt was founded in 1760 by one of the inventors of porcelain Georg-Heinrich Maheleid. Initially, the manufactory was located in Zittzendorf, in 1762 it was transferred to Volkshtedt, near Rudolytadt. It reached its heyday between 1767 and 1800, when it was rented from the enterprising Erfurt merchant Christian Nonne.
In Volkstedt for a while worked one of the leading masters – the sculptor and painter on porcelain Franz Kott, who had recently left Feylsdorf and after a short stay in Großbreitenbach for a long time settled on the Folkstedt manufactory.
Despite the imperfection of the mass, which in the first decades was grayish, flowing into the blue, and the glaze, not clean enough, sometimes torn and bubbling, Volkstedt’s products have certain artistic merits. The forms and motives of the Rococo, which prevailed here for a very long time, largely determined the originality of the products of the Folkstedt Manufactory-the abundance of various molded and embossed ornaments well masked the imperfection of the material.
The collection of the Hermitage is dominated by utensils, but the available separate figures still give some idea of the features of the plastic Volkshtedt. Unique specimens of large figures of captives testify to the high level of the works of the folkstedt sculptors. Also worthy of attention are works of the early period, such as the group “Dogs and Boar”, figures “Winter” and “Summer” from the series “Seasons”.
The dishes, for all the unbridled forms and ornamentation of the folkstedt rococo, attracts with a peculiar refinement. Characteristic in this respect is a bowl and large dishes produced in the first years, when the motif of the relief decoration “Altbrandenstein” borrowed in Meissen was still fresh; Later it was applied without measure and, like any pattern, it became obtrusive and boring.
Interesting in its contours and a few exaggerated decorative forms sauznik with two stigmas in the form of stylized dolphin heads and with a stucco flower garland on the lid.
The paintings are dominated by the so-called German flowers, first appeared in Meissen; later there are small floral garlands in combination with a colored scaly pattern. In addition to flowers for decorating products, landscapes and figurative compositions were used.
Forms and motifs of the classic style were not lost in their time and Volkshtedt, although they were introduced here rather slowly. The features of the new style were manifested not only in the forms and nature of the decor, but also in the themes and motifs of the paintings. Cylindrical coffee pots, kettles and cups with rectangular handles replaced the pretentious forms of the previous period.
In the plastic of this time, most often there are genre figures in modern costumes, painted with patterns, fashionable in the tissues of that time; mythological and allegorical figures-Apollo, Diana, Urania are not uncommon.
VALLENDORF. The Wallendorf manufactory, one of the earliest in Thuringia, originated in 1764 on the initiative of the wealthy entrepreneur Johann Wolfgang Hamann, who teamed up with Gotthelf and Gottfried Grainer-porcelain inventors from Katzkhutte; Johann Georg Diimmler, the pottery master, also joined them. After Katzkhutta was banned from burning porcelain, Hamann had to acquire an estate in Wallendorf, where the manufactory was founded. Seven years later, Gothelf Greiner left Wallendorf and in 1772 opened his own enterprise in Limbach.
Porcelain of Wallendorf was characterized by relative whiteness, although there were some flaws in it, especially in the glaze. Along with artifacts, relatively cheap household items were produced here.
In the collection of the Hermitage there are only three figures of the Wallendorf production: two paired – male and female, personifying “Winter”, the third female figure “Winter”, made on the same model, but different in painting. The choice of colors, obviously, was small-red, purple, light green-and the coloring varied within these colors. All three figures have undoubted attractiveness and, apparently, belong to the number of the best samples of porcelain plastics of Wallendorf.
The ware of the Vallendorf manufactory from the Hermitage collection dates from the 1770s to the first decade of the 19th century. Forms and murals of these objects also reveal stylistic differences. In the paintings of the XVIII century, flowers, monograms and the motif of blue dried flowers predominate (Strohblumen); for the things of the XIX century are characterized by architectural landscapes, made with purple, as well as antikiziruyuschaya painting, sometimes wearing a few bastards.
LIMBACH. Limbach’s porcelain manufactory was founded in 1772 by Gotthelf Greiner, who was called the “father of the porcelain industry of Thuringia”. As already mentioned, along with his cousin Gottfried, he began his activity at the Wallendorf Manufactory.
Seven years later, Gothelf Greiner, having separated himself from his companions, founded his own manufactory in Limbach, where he worked hard to improve the porcelain mass and glaze. His activity was crowned with success. He acquired and adjusted the production sloping to a decline in Großbreitenbach, and in 1786 he rented the Ilmenau manufactory.
The diverse products of the Limbach manufactory, especially its porcelain plastics, have become widespread. Limbach’s plastic, which is represented in the Hermitage collection with sufficient completeness, reflects the most characteristic features of this production.
The works created by limbakh sculptors and painters, testify to the freshness and immediacy of perception, about the peculiar, somewhat naive interpretation of the genre theme. Figures of urban and rural residents, as well as representatives of exotic countries bribe their cheerfulness and unusual festivity. Colorful costumes are particularly distinguished works of 1770-early 1780-ies.
Figures of the shepherd and cowherd boy, the reaper and the reaper, the gardener, personifying the seasons, are painted brightly and, at the same time, harmoniously; in an even greater degree this refers to the figures of representatives of exotic countries, symbolizing parts of the world (perhaps, these are images of the Magi). Exceptional colors are different “Africa” and “America” in luxurious robes, and magnificent headdresses with motley feathers.
Among the figures there are images of inhabitants of small provincial towns: small burghers, musicians (flutist, clarinettist), a gentleman with a clutch, going for a walk (the allegory of Winter). A rare and, at the same time, a characteristic example of a limbah plastics-the figure of a smart lady fingering the guitar strings, on the table beside her-note notebooks, one of which has the inscription Choral Buck 1871, a cup with a saucer and a coffee pot.
All these images are endowed with that vivacity and immediacy, which provided them with wide popularity. Probably, not only Greiner’s commercial abilities contributed to the spread of Limbach’s plastics. His successes were also determined by the fact that he was able to find talented sculptors and painters. With limited paints, the artists selected clean, sonorous tones and skillfully combined them. And for two hundred years the limbach porcelain has been admiring its original freshness.
Despite the fact that the names of some sculptors and painters of Limbach are known from archival documents, it has not yet been possible to establish the attribution of these or other works to a certain master.
In the 1770s and 1780s, when the best works of limbakh plastics were created, the manufactory also manufactured dishes, but its specific gravity was relatively small, and therefore in the Hermitage collection there are only a few items. Among them, attention is drawn to the kettle (Cat No. 204), whose surface is covered with oblique ribs and painted diagonally, flower garlands; The colors are of the same high quality and the same tones as in the painting of the figures (with the characteristic turquoise color for Limbach). The relief design of the teapot is original, as well as its spout, which is plucked and ends with the head of a predatory bird with an open beak.
Especially attractive is a coffee pot, the shape of which is unusually harmonious in its proportions: a rounded body painted with bright bouquets, perfectly combined with a handle of large curls. The spout of the coffee pot in the form of a female mascaron, framed by a whisk of leaves painted with juicy, deep tones, green and lilac colors, is also original.
The rest of the items of the Hermitage collection are everyday, mostly tea utensils, characteristic of Thuringia at the end of the 18th century, with a riffled surface painted with pink and purple paint. The motif of Japanese decor-stylized chrysanthemums predominates (Chrysanthemendekor). This dish was used mainly among small burghers and well-to-do peasants.
GROSSBREYTENBACH. Manufacture of Großbreitenbach, founded in 1777 by Major Ernst von Hopfgarten, already in 1782 became the property of Gotthelf Greiner, the owner of the manufactory in Limbach, and became its branch; On the products of Grossbreitenbach they began to put the Limbakh brand, introduced in 1788, the cloverleaf. Therefore, it is difficult to distinguish Limbach products from the products of the Grossbreitenbach of that period. Nevertheless, we found it possible to identify three subjects that, to our mind, belong to Grossbreitenbach. Unlike the limbah warm, slightly yellowish mass, the porcelain of these things has a dark, almost gray hue; In addition, in the painting of two of these objects, the motif of the blue underglaze dried flower, which was predominant in Großbreitenbach, was used. According to some information, by the beginning of the 19th century, they had completely switched over to the underglaze blue painting.
ILMENAY. Porcelain Manufactory in Ilmenau, the Duchy of Weimar-Eisenach (founder of Christian Zacharias Grebner, Christian Zacharias Grabner), originated in 1777 as a concession. After several years of stagnation, it was sold from auction to the treasury and then, in 1786, leased to the owner of the Limbach manufactory-Gotthelf Greiner. Since 1792, Christian Nonne, who also headed the folkstedt production, has become its tenant. With it, the flourishing of the Ilmenau manufactory begins, which later became the property of Nonna.
Obviously, only in the second half of the 1780s Ilmenau began to produce porcelain of satisfactory quality. In the lists of goods of that time, figures are also mentioned, but they have not yet been revealed. Around 1800, Ilmenau began to produce plaques with white reliefs on a blue background, in imitation of products made from jasper mass produced by Wedgwood.
Eight items of dishes from the Hermitage collection date back to the 1790s. Among them is a coffee pot painted with large bouquets of various colors, distinguished by a multicolored and skillful execution for the end of the century, not without, however, the known dryness that was generally characteristic of this period.
HERA. The year of the founding of the porcelain manufactory of Hera-1780. Here, apparently, different quality porcelain was produced. Few samples of the dishes of the Hera, available in the Hermitage, are very original. The painting of a sugar bowl with a male silhouette and a monogram on a yellow background, among the lilac worm pattern, as well as a shaving basin, is decorated with a green monogram surrounded by a wreath of flowers painted with green lustering paint. As for the plastic production of Hera, the two figures and the group are of average quality kept in the Hermitage, while in other collections the more highly artistic things performed at this manufactory are known.
RAUENSTEIN. Porcelain Manufactory, founded in 1783 in the old castle Rauenstein, in the southwestern part of the Thuringian Forest, its appearance is due to the initiative of three representatives of the name Greiner. One of them-Johann Georg was a supplier at the Schwarzburg court, as well as a co-owner of glass production in Glückstal, the other two – Johann-Friedrich and Christian-Daniel-Sigmund Grainer were glassmakers.
Porcelain manufactory quickly reached its heyday, in 1794 its staff numbered 124 people already. It was mainly tea and coffee utensils and cups for Turkish coffee, but there were other items. Among them is an inkstand of a complex configuration, with a double wall and figures of Cupids. The inkwell is painted with dark purple, which is especially characteristic of Rauenstein, but apart from the monotonous, a variety of multicolored painting was used. These are, for example, cups and saucers, where on a cobalt blue background with gold “poudre” or with gold stars on a blue background in the reserves, colors depict figures of knights and ladies in fashionable costumes and hairdos, bouquets, still lifes, rebuses with inscriptions, e.
In Rauenstein, a large number of household utensils were produced, as well as tea utensils with Far Eastern motifs of murals-stylized purple chrysanthemums and blue underglaze flowers of dried flowers.
MARKS AND SIGNS. The brands of Kloster-Feilsdorf of the 18th century are not very diverse. Basically, these were the initials of the CV (Closter Veilsdorf), most often in the form of a monogram: There are also separately written C-Vs and occasionally initials separated by a shield: These stamps are on the earliest of the items in the Hermitage collection: on an inkwell, a tray and a rinser . The brands of this manufactory are almost always blue underglaze.
Figures of Kloster-Feilsdorf are very rarely accompanied by stamps. This is due to the fact that the base turn of the figures is solid and not covered with glaze, which could protect the brand from burning out during firing. In this respect, almost completely burnt out brand in the figure of Mercury from the series “Seven planets.” At the foot of the mark, there is an embedded OG sign, which can not be deciphered.
Signs of the Feylsdorf manufactory are of two kinds: painted with paints over the glaze and embedded. Undoubtedly, the Feylsdorf are inscribed signs in the form of fractions, which are occasionally found on the figures (the Hermitage models of plastics do not have them), they are reproduced in the book of Graul and Kurzwelli (table of stamps at the end). Thanks to these rare figures, who have both a brand and a similar sign, Graul managed to establish the ownership of Feilsdorf and those who do not have the marks of figures from the “Italian comedy” series. In the collection of the Hermitage such a sign -p-is on the basket; The letter E has not yet been deciphered, the sign Z denotes the number 2, it determines the place in the furnace, namely, its middle part, where, according to Kramer, the figures were fired (but obviously it could not be only the figures). The lower letter P is the initial of one of the two molders-Pfranger (Pfranger) or Plonne (Plonne), more likely, the latter, since it is known that he molded not only figures, but also other objects. On this same basket there is a letter N, painted with green paint and being the initial of the painter who painted the basket. But the surname of the painter, beginning with the letter N, is not given by any researcher.
Almost all the porcelain manufactories of Thuringia sought to imitate the Meissen swords, since this facilitated the sale of products and promised significant benefits. Despite numerous protests, interpellations that were made by the Saxon government, the Thuringian manufactories tried to bypass all obstacles by any possible means.
In this respect, some of the brands of Kloster-Feilsdorf were not an exception. Heavy sales conditions forced Prince Eugene to go to the imitation Meissen stamp bordering on a fake. He drew sketches of various variants of stamps, trying to bring them closer to the Meissen swords; for this, the letter V was more acute, and the letter C, intertwining it, was less noticeable, in addition, the letter was turned so that it resembled the crossbeams of swords: On cups for coffee sent to Turkey, often without hesitation put the Meissen brand. In this regard, Prince Eugene said that for the Turks the origin of the cups does not matter, but the main thing is that they have swords; evidently, he hoped at the same time that such a frank falsification would not be known at the Meissen Manufactory.
These stamps are almost always blue underglaze, but there are also overglaze marks, for example, on the figures of captives: one is gray, the other is blue.
Stamps of Gotha. From the time of the founding of the manufactory and until about 1783, the R mark was placed – the initial letter of the name of the owner of the manufactory – Rothberg, as a rule, the blue underglaze. On the Hermitage creamer, the overglazed gold brand is half-stained, but this is an isolated case.
It is believed that in connection with the appearance in 1783 of the manufactory in Rauenstein, where the same brand appeared, in Gotha R they replaced R-g (shortened name Rotberg); this brand was also cobalt coated with glaze. It existed from 1783 to 1805. Later, the overglaze mark Gotha appears, for example, on a cup, or G (double inscription). Beginning in the 1830s, at Henneberg, a stamp was placed in the form of a rebus, enclosed in an oval: a hen on a hill (Henneberg) with the inscription GOTHA on top.
Mark Wallendorf is always blue underglaze, but often the letter W was stretched vertically like Meissen’s crossed swords: it is easily confused with the Limbah brand.
Stamps of Limbach. Since the founding of the manufactory in 1772, there were two kinds of brands: merged – L and B and crossed letters L. This brand should have been like Meissen swords; Another version of it, with an asterisk below: even more reminiscent of the Meissen brand of that time and misleading the inexperienced buyer. In some cases, swords with an asterisk were painted with blue underglaze paint. But more often the Limbach brands are overglaze; they were applied with purple, red, dark brown, black or gray paints, occasionally with green paint.
However, in 1788 Gotthelf Greiner had to abandon the Meissen-like stamps, since the Duke Georg of Meiningen, in whose possession the Limbach manufactory was located, forbade the stamps of this kind in connection with the protest of the Saxon government. Since that time, an overglaze mark – a leaf of a clover (Kleeblatt) has been introduced at the enterprises of Greiner, in Limbach, in Großbreitenbach and, possibly, also at the Ilmenau manufactory rented by him.
Mark Ilmenau blue underglaze: of various sizes, or crossed letters: a frank imitation of Meissen swords. Since 1788, when Gotthelf Greiner, who rented the factory, undertook to put on the products of his enterprises a new stamp-leaf of the clover-apparently, this mark was introduced to Ilmenau and existed, at least until the end of the lease.
Mark Hera, the letter G, the spelling of which varied; it was painted with blue underglaze paint. Sometimes there is a spelling of G, similar to the brand name of the Russian Gardner factory, which often led to erroneous attribution, since the products of both factories are close in terms of manufacturing time, weight, etc.
Mark Rauenstein-R-blue underglaze, as well as the red overglaze. On all the Hermitage things, the brands are purple, except for one, printed with gold. The color of the overglaze mark depends on the painting itself. There is also R with an asterisk.
It does not follow the mark: purple is confused with the analogous sign of the Faisersdorf painter Roshlau (Roschlau) in cases where there is only this sign, and the Feylsdorf brand is absent. An example of this can serve as a saucer Feilsdorf, which was mistakenly attached to a cup produced by Rauenstein. The cup, although it does not have a mark, but according to all data, is undoubtedly a product of Rauenstein.
ABOUT THE TRADEMARKS AND SIGNS. The interest of collectors to Russian porcelain, which arose at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, especially to the figures of the manufacture of the Imperial Porcelain Factory of the middle of the 18th century, caused the appearance of all sorts of counterfeit stamps. They were put on the original figures of Thuringian factories of the 18th century, which did not have marks. At the same time, the falsifiers saw some similarity between the Russian figures of the Elizabethan time and the Thuringian. In antiquarian trade in the West, Thuringian porcelain was not so rare, and the figures of the Imperial Porcelain Factory were very rare and very appreciated. At the same time, the inadequate acquaintance of collectors with Russian porcelain was used.
In the Hermitage collection of Thuringian porcelain genuine copies of the plastic of Volkshtedt and Limbach of the 18th century are stored, bearing forged marks painted: black eagle and brown letter, as well as inscribed signs. Sometimes these stamps were put together, which is an anachronism, since they refer to different periods of the XVIII century.
A counterfeit brand of a special kind is found in the figure of Urania, produced by Volkshtedt; on it an incised sign: was added with two incised vertical strokes: as a result of which the sign in an inverted form could be read as a mark: as a result, the figure was attributed to the Imperial porcelain factory of the time of Catherine P. This brand has nothing to do with the original that was usually put in blue paint under the icing.