Meissen Porcelain Collection

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18th century

A splendid collection of rococo-style eighteenth century German porcelain.

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With eighteenth century European court culture at the zenith of the splendor of rococo art in the background, Meissen porcelain developed characteristic ornate colors and rich forms through the efforts of the porcelain painter Johann Gregorius Höroldt and the court sculptor Johann Joachim Kändler and reached its golden age. Ever since, for three hundred years, even today, it continues to be produced zealously.

In 1993, our museum received a donation of 93 pieces of Meissen, a charming collection assembled by the late Mrs. Ito Naoko. Beginning with “Böttger ware” discovered by the alchemist Johann Friedrich Böttger by command of Frederick Augustus I of Saxony, it is a comprehensive collection which covers tableware in “Kakiemon style” and “chinoiserie style” narrating the yearning for the Orient, eighteenth century rococo statues which lent flair to court life, and early twentieth century Art Nouveau. The fact that there are numerous examples dating from the mid-eighteenth century and earlier, when Meissen was at the zenith of prosperity and improved its artistry, makes it both quality and quantity-wise an extraordinary collection in Japan.

Included in this collection is a Monkey Orchestra, which skillfully portrays the individuality of twenty-two monkeys. The representation of the comically uplifted enthusiasm of these monkeys and the exquisite movement of the players are worthy of note. We hope you will enjoy the exuberant beauty of Meissen porcelain, which was fostered by European court culture.