When it comes to Meissen, the early pieces have great appeal, and you can’t get very much earlier than this. This early teapot was offered as lot 547 in Christie’s November 3-4, 1981, auction, and I’ll simply repeat their description: “A Meissen baluster-shaped fluted teapot with Kakiemon decoration, c. 1730. The fluted body painted in the Kakiemon palette with a bird perched on a bamboo branch below a pine tree among flowering chrysanthemum issuing from rockwork enriched in gilding, the foliage molded and bird’s head spout and angular handle enriched in gilding, the cover similarly painted with flowering branch finial (minor repair to finial and handle).” The same teapot showed up again as lot 160 in Christie’s April 27, 1984, sale: “A Meissen Octafoil teapot and cover, c.1738. Painted in the Kakiemon palette with prunus, bamboo and pine issuing from rockwork with flowering chrysanthemum and a bird, the reverse with a bird in flight among scattered flower sprays, the bird’s-head spout and angular handle molded with foliage and enriched in gilding, the cover with flowering branch finial (repair to lower part of handle and finial).” This shape is quite rare. The handle and spout are typical shapes, but the complex shape of this body, divided into eight lobed sections, is probably taken directly from an Asian original. The decoration is also a bit more extensive than usual, compared with others in the kakiemon style. After almost 300 years, there will be some flaws. The handle shows a hairline toward the bottom but it has never been off the teapot, and there have been some repairs done to the lid, but it’s hard to tell exactly what because of the repainting. All the repairs are excellent, although the paint on the handle (paint on the outside of the lower section only) is just starting to look its age. The spout is fine.
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