The term “Dresden porcelain” refers more to an artistic movement than a particular line of figurines or dinnerware. Several decorating studios emerged in this Saxony capital in response to the rise of “Romanticism” during the 19th century. Dresden was an important center of this artistic, cultural and intellectual movement, which attracted painters, sculptors, poets, philosophers and porcelain decorators alike. In 1883, in response to the exciting developments happening all around them, four prominent ceramic decorators registered the famous blue crown Dresden mark, and the widely popular “Dresden style” was born.
Dresden china is often described as “rococo revival” style. Rococo comes from the French word “rocaille” meaning rock work or grotto work, and refers to the artificial grottoes used in French gardens that were decorated with irregularly shaped stones and seashells. Originally popular during the renaissance, rococo experienced a revival during the 19th century, touching virtually all aspects of interior design. Dresden decorators were the first and most successful to employ this style on dinnerware, characterized by elaborate fanciful design and a profusion of foliage, flowers, fruits, shells and scrolls. Although there were over 200 painting shops in Dresden alone between 1855 and 1944, decorators as Franziska Hirsch, Ambrosius Lamm, Carl Thieme and Helena Wolfsohn have also become synonymous with Dresden china.
Franziska Hirsch, circa 1890-1930, purchased porcelain blanks from various companies and would use a gold over-glaze flower to hide some or all of the manufacturers mark. For this reason and her love of portraying Dresden flower motifs, I attribute these pieces to her studio, circa early 1900's. The group consists of five pieces, two cream soup handled bowls and three saucers on which the floral decorations vary from piece to piece. Each piece uses a fabulous combination of burgundy and white blanks with elaborate gold encrusted scroll work, floral depictions, bands, handles and beaded borders. The cartouches, clusters and individual Dresden flowers are a complete pallet of spring flowers and colors.
The saucers measure 7" across and the cream soups measure 4 3/4" across, 6 3/4" from handle-to-handle and 2" in height. In addition to the gold over-glaze flower mark, each piece is stamped "W" over "K" over "Made in Saxony". There are no cracks, chips or repairs; near mint condition.
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